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OF    THE 




BY  W.  GLEESON,  M.A., 



VOL.  I. 


Printed  for  the  Author,  by 



2x  iH-lS'. 

Entered  according  to  Act  of  Congress  in  the  year  1871,  by 


in  the  office  of  the  Librarian  of  Congress,  at  "Washington,  D.  C. 

2991  ■  > 

&  $*>  q  x  i 

Printed,  illustrated,  and  bound  at  the  establishment  of 
A.  L.  Bancroft  &  Co.,  San  Francisco,  Cal. 

TO    THE 






St.  Mary's  College,  San  Francisco,  Cal. 
October,  1871. 


The  title  of  this  work  may  appear  to  some  unwar- 
ranted by  the  character  of  the  book.  The  ecclesiastical 
annals  of  Upper  and  Lower  California,  it  may  be 
alleged,  are  not  sufficiently  rich  in  historical  details  to 
entitle  a  treatise  on  the  state  of  religion  in  the  country 
to  be  styled  a  history.  "The  Catholic  Church  in  Cali- 
fornia," or  "The  Early  Missions,"  might  be  deemed  a 
more  appropriate  name.  It  is  true  the  greater  part  of 
the  work  treats  only  of  the  primitive  missions  estab- 
lished by  the  Jesuits  and  Franciscans.  But,  inasmuch 
as  the  Church  on  this  coast  has  long  since  ceased  to  be 
a  missionary  body,  in  the  sense  of  being  governed  by 
Vicars  Apostolic,  having  for  several  years  obtained  an 
honorable  place  in  the  American  hierarchy,  it  has  been 
considered  that  the  record  of  its  career  would  be  more 
appropriately  expressed  under  the  title  of  History  than 
of  Missions. 

The  considerable  time,  too,  nearly  two  hundred  years, 
since  the  faith  was  introduced  into  the  country,  is  an 
additional  reason  why  the  claim  to  the  name  should  not 
be  denied. 

The  sources  whence  the  historical  matter  has  been 
drawn,  will  be  found  entire  at  the  end  of  the  second 
volume.  They  are  not  as  numerous  and  complete  as 
might  be  desired,  yet,  such  as  they  are,  they  have  been 
carefully  considered,  and  nothing  has  been  left  unex- 
amined which  it  was  thought  could  aid  in  the  execution 
of  the  work. 

VI        .  PREFACE. 

The  writings  on  which  we  have  mainly  relied,  are — 
"The  Natural  and  Civil  History  of  Lower  California," 
by  Father  Miguel  Yenegas :  Boscana's  ' '  Historical 
Account  of  the  Indians  of  Upper  California;"  Duflot  de 
Mofras'  "Exploration  of  Oregon;"  Palou  "Life  of 
Junipero  Serra;"  Forbes'  "Lower  California;"  and 
Dwinelle's  "  Colonial  History." 

For  the  chapter  on  Christian  Traditions,  we  have 
consulted  Sahagun's  "History  of  Mexico,"  Torquemada, 
Clavigero,  Veytia,  and  others.  The  first,  who  was  a 
Franciscan,  wrote  at  the  period  of  the  conquest,  and  is 
considered  a  most  reliable  author.  His  work  is  at  pres- 
ent extremely  rare,  there  not  being  probably  more  than 
one  copy  of  it  in  the  entire  country.  Clavigero's  ' '  His- 
tory of  Mexico"  is  a  large  two-volume  quarto  work.  It 
has  been  translated  into  English,  and  published  in  Lon- 
don, by  Mr.  Charles  Cullen.  Torquemada  and  Veytia 
have  not  been  translated,  but  the  passages  quoted  from 
them  we  have -translated  into  English,  for  the  conveni- 
ence of  our  readers. 

In  support  of  the  presence  of  the  Irish  on  the  At- 
lantic coast  prior  to  the  eleventh  century,  we  have  taken 
several  passages  from  the  "  Antiquitates  Americans, " 
a  voluminous  work  in  folio,  published  for  the  first  time 
in  1837,  under  the  direction  of  the  Royal  Society  of 
Northern  Antiquarians.  It  is  of  the  highest  authority 
on  the  subject  on  which  it  treats,  namely,  the  presence 
of  the  Northmen  and  Irish  in  America  at  an  early 
date.  Like  Sahagun's  "History  of  Mexico,"  there  is, 
I  believe,  only  one  copy  of  it  in  all  California — that 
preserved  in  the  State  Library  at  Sacramento.  It  is  in 
three  languages:  Icelandic,  Danish,  and  Latin;  the  two 
latter  being  only  translations  of  the  former.  The  text, 
which  is  made  up  of  geographical  notices,  and  extracts 
from  the  voyages  of  Icelanders  to  America,  is   taken 


from  the  Icelandic  "manuscript  histories  preserved  in 
the  Royal  Library  at  Copenhagen,  of  which  the^re  is  a 
large  number,  the  most  celebrated  being  the  "Codex 
Flate yensis, "  marked  F.  This  celebrated  parchment  de- 
rives its  name  from  the  island  of  Flateya,  off  the  coast 
of  Iceland,  where  it  was  long  preserved.  It  eventually 
fell  into  the  hands  of  Byrnjulf,  Bishop  of  Skalhalt,  by 
whom  it  was  presented  to  Frederick  III.  of  Denmark. 
It  contains  a  record  of  the  lives  of  several  kings,  and 
was  written  by  two  ecclesiastics.  Fathers  John  and 
Magnus,  in  the  year  1387.  There  are  eighteen  other 
parchment  manuscripts  in  the  Copenhagen  Library, 
written  before  the  time  of  Columbus,  wherein  mention 
is  made  of  America,  under  the  names  of  Helluland, 
Markland,  Vinland,  and  Great  Ireland. 

The  arrangement  of  the  "Antiquitates"  is  in -double 
columns,  containing  Icelandic  and  Danish  texts,  beneath 
which  is  the  Latin  translation.  In  the  sam«  work  are 
some  Latin  fragments  from  the  history  of  the  church, 
by  Adam  of  Bremen,  who  lived  for  some  time  at  the 
Court  of  Denmark,  and  wrote  in  the  11th  century.  He 
is  thus  spoken  of  by  Rafn;  "Adamus  Bremensis  fuit 
canonicus  et  sedituus  Bremis.  Fama  de  virtutibus  et 
doctrina  rejis  Danorum  Suenonis  Astrididse  eum  in 
Daniam  excivit.  Hsc  profectio,  ipsius  rejis  relationes,  et 
tabularium  Hamburgense,necnonnonnulli  scriptores  an- 
tiquiores  materiam  ei  prgebuerunt  historic  ecclesiastics 
quatuor  libris  Latine  conscribendse,  in  quibus  explicat 
Christians  religionis  in  Germania  bareali  et  Septem- 
trione  propagationem  a  tempore  Caroli  Magni  ad  Hen- 
ricum  Quartum;  addiditque  ad  Calcern  libri  quarti  de- 
scriptionem  de  situ  Daniae  et  reliquarum,  qua?  trans 
Daniam  sunt  regionum." 

The  part  of  our  volume  treating  on  the  ancient  Ameri- 
can mins  we  have  prepared  after  a  careful  examination 


of  the  most  eminent  and  reliable  writers  on  the  subject. 
Of  these,tke  more  notable  are  the  works  of  the  Smithson- 
ian Institute,  the  "American  Antiquities,"  by  Brad- 
ford, the  "Archeologia  Americana "  and  the  "Cites  et 
Ruins  Americaines,"  by  Mons.  Charney.  The  first, 
which  are  very  voluminous,  embody  the  opinions  of  the 
most  learned  American  Antiquarians,  but,  like  others 
who  have  treated  the  subject,  they  only  deal  with  it  in  its 
general  bearings,  contenting  themselves  with  having 
established  the  fact  that  America  was  once  in  the  en- 
joyment of  a  high  degree  of  civilization.  Beyond  this 
the  present  writer  has  undertaken  to  conduct  the  reader, 
and  to  show  when  and  whence  the  people  came,  who 
were  the  authors  of  this  enlightenment.  The  conclu- 
sions arrived  at,  it  is  to  be  hoped,  will  meet  with  the 
approval  of  all  impartial  readers. 

It  is  here  proper  to  remark  that  our  work  has  no  offi- 
cial recognition.  Such  has  never  been  solicited.  It 
goes  forth  on  its  own  merits :  should  it  meet  with  general 
approval  we  shall  be  glad,  but  if  not,  the  failure,  under 
the  circumstances,  will  not  be  a  cause  of  embarrassment 
to  his  Grace  and  his  clergy. 

We  cannot  take  leave  of  these  prefatory  remarks 
without  returning  our  thanks  to  those,  through  whose 
kindness  we  have  had  access  to  the  writings  necessary 
for  our  purpose.  We  feel  especially  indebted  to  Mr. 
H.  H.  Bancroft  for  the  use  of  his  excellent  library, 
the  best  by  far  in  California  for  works  on  the  ancient 
history  of  Mexico  and  the  Pacific  Coast.  We  are  also 
indebted  to  the  kindness  of  the  Librarians  of  the  Mer- 
cantile, Mechanics',  Odd  Fellows'  and  Pioneer  Libraries, 
and  to  the  Librarian  of  the  State  Library  at  Sacramento. 



Chapter  I. — Introduction. — Arrangement  and  Object  of  the 

Chapter  II. — Continuation  of  the  Preceding. — Geograph- 
ical position  of  the  Country. — Expeditions  undertaken 
for  the  Discovery  of  the  Imaginary  Strait  between  the 
Atlantic  and  Pacific— Cortes  goes  to  Spain. — Grijalva's 
Expedition. — Discovery  of  California. 

Chapter  III. — The  Spaniards  in  Florida. — Arrival  of  Nar- 
vaez'  Forces. — Their  Adventures  and  Misfortunes. — 
Four  make  their  way  across  the  country  to  the  Pa- 
cific.— The  Miracles  they  Performed. — Their  Arrival  in 

Chapter  IV. — Father  de  Niza  makes  a  tour  through 
Sonora,  and  reports  favorably  of  the  country. — The 
Viceroy  and  Cortes  prepare  to  subjugate  it. — Massacre 
of  Father  Padillo  and  Brother  John  of  the  Cross  at 
Tigne. — Cabrillo's  Expedition  to  California. — Oxenham, 
Drake  and  Cavendish  appear  on  the  Coast. — Supposed 
discovery  of  a  Northeast  Passage. 

Chapter  V. — Etymology  of  California. — Character  of  the 
Country. — Tribes.- — Language. — Physical  Character. — 
Unacquaintance  with  Letters. — Hieroglyphical  Re- 
mains.— Mental  Condition,  etc. 

Chapter  VI. — Government. — Power  of  Chiefs. — Religious 
Ideas  regarding  the  Creation  of  the  World.  —  Idol- 
Worship    in    Upper    California. — The  Temple  or  Van- 


queech. — The  God  Chinighchinigh. — Tradition  Regard- 
ing the  Deluge. — Belief  in  the  Immortality  of  the  Soul 
and  the  Resurrection  of  the  Body. 

Chapter  VII. — Californian  Pagan  Priests. — Their  Know- 
ledge of  Medicine.- — Influence  of  the  Priests. — Tradi- 
tions apparently  Christian. — Mexican  Christian  Tradi- 
tions.— The  Deluge. — The  Cross. — Monastic  Estab- 
lishments. — Virginity.  —  Fasts.  —  Baptism.  —  Confes- 
sion.— Eucharist. — Crucifixion. 

Chapter  VIII. — Probable  Sources  whence  the  Traditions 
were  derived. — Probability  of  St.  Thomas  having 
preached  in  the  country.- — Belief  in  a  White  Race  to 
come. — Quetzalcohuatl  identical  with  St.  Thomas. 

Chapter  IX. — Leading  Facts  connected  with  the  History  of 
Quetzalcohuatl. — His  Prophecy. — A  White  People  to 
come. — Phenomena  prior  to  the  arrival  of  the  Span- 
iards.— Summary  of  argument  in  favor  of  St.  Thomas. 
— His  probable  place  of  Landing. — How  the  Doctrine 
may  have  been  corrupted. — Means  by  which  the  Apos- 
tle might  have  arrived  in  the  Country. — America  known 
to  Europeans  before  Christianity. 

Chapter  X. — Second  Source  of  Christian  Traditions.— The 
Irish  in  Iceland. — Testimon}^  of  an  Irish  Monk  and  of 
Icelandic  Historians  to  this  effect. — The  Irish  in  Amer- 
ica prior  to  the  Eleventh  Century. — St.  Brandon's  Voy- 
age to  America. 

Chapter  XL — Reduction  of  the  country  by  the  civil  au- 
thority found  to  be  impossible. —  It  is  offered  to  the 
Jesuits. — Father  Kuhno  proposes  to  undertake  the 
work. — He  is  joined  by  Father  John  Salva  Tierra. 
— Father  Tierra  sails  for  California. — Father  Piccolo 
arrives. —  Critical  position  of  the  Christians. —  They 
make  a  Novena. — Supplies  arrive. — Success  during  the 
first  three  years. 


Chapter  XII. —  Difficulties  of  the  Missionaries  at  first. — 
Orders  to  the  Mexican  Government,  by  Philip  V.,  in 
favor  of  the  Fathers. — .Prejudice  against  the  Religious. 
— They  prove  California  to  be  a  Peninsula. — Mode  of 
Life  at  the  Missions. — Massacre  of  the  Christians  at 
the  Mission  of  St.  Xavier. — Punishment  of  the  mur- 

Chapter  XIII. — Critical  condition  of  the  Fathers  for  want 
of  provisions. — Arrival  of  supplies. — Dedication  of  the 
Church  of  Loretto. — Ungenerous  action  of  the  Mexican 
Government. — The  Duke  of  Linares. — Difficulties  in 
establishing  new  Missions. — Father  John  Ugarte's  zeal 
for  the  conversion  of  the  people. — Prejudice  of  the 
Natives  against  the  Fathers. 

Chapter  XIV. — The  Fathers  invest  the  moneys  belonging 
to  the  Mission  in  real  estate. — First  attempt  at  Gov- 
ernment.— Natural  Phenomena. — Father  Ugarte  pre- 
pares to  make  a  second  survey  of  the  coast. — Estab- 
lishment of  the  Mission  of  La  Paz. — Famine  and 
epidemic  in  the  country. —  Devotion  of  the  Missiona- 

Chapter  XV. — Project  to  establish  garrisons  and  colonies 
along  the  coast. — Reception  of  the  Fathers'  party  by 
the  Savageru — Advantages  resulting  from  the  Vovage. 
—Establishment  of  Missions. — Conversions. — Mission 
founded  for  the  Cadigomo  Indians. 

Chapter  XVI.— Difficulty  in  Converting  the  Religious 
Teachers. — Insurrection  and  Massacre  of  Christians. — 
Death  of  Fathers  Piccolo  and  Ugarte. — Fathers  Echi- 
veria  and  Sigismund  Taraval. — Great  Danger  to  the 
Missions. — All  the  Fathers  retire  to  Loretto. — Suppres- 
sion of  the  Rebellion. — A  Philippine  vessel  arrives  at 
St.  Lucas. 

Chapter  XVII. — Punishment  of  the  ringleaders  in  the  late 
Rebellion. — Restoration  of    the    Missions. — Orders  of 


Ferdinand  V.  for  establishing-  Mexican  Colonies. — A 
juncture  to  be  formed  between  the  Missions  of  Califor- 
nia and  Sonora  on  the  Colorado. — Father  Sedelmayer 
examines  the  Colorado. — State  of  Religion  in  Califor- 
nia at  that  period. — Death  of  Father  Bravo  and  Father 

Chapter  XVIII. — Death  of  Father  Guillen. — Death  of  Don 
Rodriguez  Lorenzo. — Progress  of  the  Missions. — At- 
tempt of  the  Gentiles  to  destroy  the  Southern  Missions. 
— Silver  Mines  ojtened  in  the  country. —  Decrease  in 
the  Female  Population. — Dangers  threatening  the  So- 
ciety in  Europe. — Unjust  proceedings  taken  against  it 
in  Portugal  and  France. 

Chapter  XIX. — Pombal  attempts  to  use  the  Pope  for  his 
own  purposes. — Banishes  the  Fathers  from  the  country. 
■ — Father  Malagrida  burned  at  the  stake. — Conspiracy 
of  the  Free-thinkers  for  the  destruction  of  the  Society. 
— Efforts  of  the  French  Clergy  in  behalf  of  the  Reli- 
gious.— Opinions  of  Protestants  on  this. — Clement 
XIII.  in  their  favor. — Their  Expulsion  from  the  Spanish 
Dominions. — Departure  from  California. 

Chapter  XX. — Suppression  of  the  Society. —  No  charges 
proved  against  them. — True  Cause  of  the  antipathy  of 
their  enemies. — Election  of  Clement  XIV. — Frederick 
the  Great's  opinion  of  the  Society. — Its  Suppression. — 
Opinion  of  the  World  on  the  act. — Reorganization  of 


the  Society. 



Chapter  I. — Arrival  of  the  Franciscans. — Project  of  Charles 
III. — Commencement  of  the  Missions  in  Upper  Cali- 
fornia.— Establishment  of  the  Missions  of  San  Diego. 
— Explanation  of  the  terms  Presidio,  Pueblo  and  Mis- 

Chapter  II. — Expedition  to  Monterey. — Discovery  of  San 
Francisco  Bay. — First  Baptism. —  Scarcity  of  provi- 
sions.— Propitious  arrival  of  supplies. —  Singular  Oc- 
currence.— Arrival  of  Missionaries. — Lower  California 
given  to  the  Dominicans. 

Chapter  III. — Search  for  the  Northeastern  Passage — Mar- 
tyrdom of  one  of  the  Keligious. — Letter  of  His  Excel- 
lency Bucarelli. — Ke-establishment  of  the  ruined  Mis- 
sion.— Establishment  of  the  Mission  of  San  Francisco. 

Chapter  IV. — Establishment  of  the  Mission  of  Santa  Clara. 
— Death  of  Father  Crespi. — Establishment  of  two  Mis- 
sions on  the  Colorado. — Martyrdom  of  two  Religious. — 
Remarkable  Vision. — Death  of  Father  Junipero. — 
State  of  the  Missions  in  1802. — Governor  Echandia. 

Chapter  V. — Progress  of  the  Missions  from  1802  to  1822. 
—  The  Secularization  Scheme  contemplated  by  Spain. 
— Russia  forms  Settlements  on  the  Coast. — Mexico 
interferes  with  the  Fathers. — Results  of  such  interfer- 
ence.—  State  of  the  country  after. — Statistics. — Ill- 
treatment  of  the  Clergy. 

Chapter  VI. —  The  Mexican  Government  confiscates  the 
Church  Property  of  California. —  Effects  of  confisca- 
tion.— Revolution  in  1836. — Alvarado  as  Leader. — 
Carillo  appointed  Governor. — Plot  for  the  Overthrow 


of  Alvarado. — Micheltorena  arrives. — He  restores  the 
Missions  to  the  Religious. — The  Extinction  of  the  Na- 
tive Church. — Upper  California  annexed  by  America. 

Chapter  VIII. — Appointment  of  the  First  Bishop  of  Mon- 
terey.— Discovery  of  Gold. — First  Clergy  that  minister 
to  the  Immigrants. — Sisters  of  Notre  Dame  arrive. — 
Appointment '  of  Dr.  Alemany. — Appearance  of  San 
Francisco. — First  attempt  at  Government. 

Chapter  IX. — Increase  of  Population  in  San  Francisco. — 
Cholera  breaks"  out. — Sisters  of  Charity  arrive. — Dr. 
Alemany  transferred  from  Monterey  to  San  Francisco. 
— Father  Gallagher  goes  to  Europe. — Establishment  of 
St.  Thomas'  Seminary. — Sisters  of  Mercy  arrive.— 
Prejudice  against  them. 

Chapter  X. — Establishment  of  St.  Mary's  Hosj)ital. — In- 
fluence of  the  Sisters'  lives  on  the  patients.—  Establish- 
ment of  the  Magdalen  Asylum. — The  Sisters  take 
charge  of  the  Pest  House. — The  Sisters  attend  the 
Jail. — Their  success  in  reforming  the  culprits. 

Chapter  XL — Pioneer  Missionaries.— Increase  of  the  Cath- 
olic ConmiunhVy. — Appointment  of  Bishop  O'Connell. 


Part  I.  —Extensive  American  Ruins. — Circular  Fort  on  the 
Genessee. — Remains  on  the  Tonawanda. —  Conical 
Mounds  on  the  Ocmulgee.— Ruins  on  the  Miami.— 
Ruins  near  Chilicothe.—  Tumuli  in  Kentucky  and  Illi- 

Part  II. — Great  Antiquity  of  the  Ruins. — Proofs  thereof.— 
Occupation  of  the  people. — Identity  of  the  Authors  of 
the  Mounds  with  the   Mexican  Races. — Whence   the 


Mexican  Kaces  emigrated. — The  Olmecs. — Tolinecs. — 

Part  III. — Where  the  authors  of  the  Mounds  entered 
America. — First  Asiatic  migration  in  a  Western  direc- 
tion.— Similarity  between  the  Tuatha  De  Danaan 
Works  in  Ireland  and  Ancient  American  remains. 

Part  IV. — Similarity  between  the  customs  of  the  Tuatha 
de  Danaans  and  those  of  the  authors  of  American 
Euins. — Identity  of  Worship. — Languages. — Etc. 


Introduction. — Arrangement  and  Object  of  the  Work* 

The  history  of  the  Catholic  Church  in  California 
dates  from  the  latter  half  of  the  seventeenth  cen- 
tury. From  that  time  down  to  the  present,  I  pur- 
pose to  write  an  account  of  the  state  of  religion  in 
the  country.  The  absence  of  an  impartial,  com- 
prehensive work,  embracing  the  past  and  present 
condition  of  the  Church,  is  my  reason  for  under- 
taking this  task. 

Though  largely  devoid  of  those  important  and 
leading  events,  which,  in  older  and  more  populous 
parts  of  the  Catholic  world,  constitute  the  princi- 
pal chapters  of  history,  the  record  of  the  Church's 
career  on  this  coast  is  yet  not  without  interest  to 
the  Catholic  mind.  The  history  of  missionary  en- 
terprise in  every  country,  and  under  every  circum- 
stance, possesses  an  attraction  for  many,  much 
greater  when  it  happens  to  be  connected  with  re- 
sults of  a  most  gratifying  kind,  as  in  the  case  of 
which  we  are  going  to  treat. 

The  history  of  the  Catholic  Church  in  California 
commends  itself,  too,  to  the  general  reader,  for 
another  and,  perhaps,  a  more  appreciable  reason, 
I  allude  to  the  connection  between  the  civil  and 
religious  history  of  the  country.     For  three  hund- 


red  years  and  more — from  the  landing  of  Cortes  in 
1536  till  the  annexation  of  Upper  California  by  the 
American  Republic  in  1846,  the  civil  and  religious 
relations  differed  [so  little  that  they  found  expres- 
sion on  the  same  page.  It  is  only  since  the  loss  of 
one  half  of  the  country  to  Mexico  that  the  two 
branches  of  history  have  formed  separate  fields  for 
inquiry,  and  that  the  civil  and  religious  historians, 
severing  a  long-formed  friendship,  have  entered 
on  different  routes. 

As  the  conversion  of  the  aborigines  from  pagan- 
ism and  barbarism  to  Christianity  and  civilization 
has  been  the  result  of  the  devoted  and  heroic  ex- 
ertions of  the  Jesuit  and  Franciscan  missionaries, 
I  have  resolved,  in  the  arrangement  of  my  subject, 
to  treat  of  the  order  of  events  in  two  volumes.  In 
the  first,  I  will  speak  of  the  labors  and  triumphs  of 
the  Jesuit  Fathers  in  Lower  California,  from  the 
time  of  their  landing  in  1683  to  the  date  of  their 
expulsion,  in  common  with  their  brethren  of  Para- 
guay, in  1768,  by  order  of  Charles  III. 

The  second  volume  will  contain,  besides  an  ac- 
count of  the  conversion  of  Upper  or  Alta  Califo- 
nia  by  the  disciples  of  St.  Francis,  a  description  of 
the  once  happy  and  flourishing  state  of  the  mis- 
sions, under  the  paternal  rule  of  the  Fathers,  their 
subsequent  decline  and  ultimate  ruin  under  Mexi- 
can auspices;  to  which  will  be  added  an  impar- 
tial   description  of  the   state   of  religion   during 


the  American  period,  since  the  appointment  of  the 
Right  Rev.  Dr.  Alemany  as  second  bishop  of 

My  principal  object  in  undertaking  this  work  is 
the  desire  of  placing  upon  record,  and  handing 
down  to  posterity,  a  faithful  and  unbiased  rela- 
tion of  the  labors,  trials  and  triumphs  of  the  pio- 
neer missionary  Fathers,  not  forgetting  what  is  due 
to  those  who  have  succeeded  them  in  the  ministry. 

At  the  risk  of  laying  myself  open  to  the  charge 
of  embodying  something  foreign  to  my  purpose, 
yet  with  the  view  of  its  being  acceptable  to  many, 
I  have  resolved  upon  giving  a  limited  description 
of  the  country  and  its  resources,  as  well  as  an  ab- 
breviated account  of  the  different  voyages  made 
to  its  shores,  during  a  long  series  of  years,  by  the 
Spaniards,  the  British  and  the  French. 

To  the  manners,  customs  and  religion  of  the 
aborigines,  I  propose  devoting  several  pages,  that 
the  reader  may  be  acquainted  with  the  character 
of  those  with  whom  the  pioneer  missionaries  had 
to  come  into  contact.  And,  connected  herewith,  it 
will  be  read,  I  trust,  not  without  interest,  how  cer- 
tain apparently  Christian  traditions  and  observ- 
ances were  found  to  be  held  and  maintained  by 
the  natives.  The  explanation  to  be  offered  in  so- 
lution to  this  will  lead  to  the  interesting  inquiry, 
as  to  whether  the  Christian  religion  had  ever  been 
preached  in  America  previous  to  the  arrival  of  the 
Spaniards.     In  support  of  the  affirmative  proofs 

4  HISTORY    OF    THE 

will  be  offered  to  the  acceptance  of  the  reader  in 
favor  of  the  arrival  of  St.  Thomas,  the  Apostle, 
in  the  country;  as  well  as  in  support  of  the  pres- 
ence of  the  Irish  on  the  eastern  or  Atlantic  coast 
prior  to  the  landing  of  Columbus. 

Out  of  this  will  arise  the  investigation  of  another 
and,  if  possible,  more  difficult  problem — the  origin 
of  those  numerous,  ancient  remains  of  towns, 
tombs  and  fortifications,  scattered  everywhere 
through  the  continent,  from  the  shores  of  the 
Atlantic  to  those  of  the  Pacific.  To  this  the 
reader's  attention  will  be  specially  invited,  though 
not  forming  any  direct  part  of  the  work ;  for,  en- 
tirely apart  from  religious  inquiry,  it  must  ever  be 
regarded  as  a  matter  of  more  than  ordinary  im- 
portance, to  determine  on  satisfactory  grounds  the 
origin  and  identity  of  that  remarkable  people — the 
authors  of  that  enlightenment  and  civilization  of 
which  it  is  now  freely  acknowledged  this  country 
was  in  possession  centuries  before  its  discovery  in 

But,  however  agreeable  and  interesting  an  in- 
quiry of  this  nature  may  prove  to  the  general 
reader,  the  main  feature  of  California  church  his- 
tory will  naturally  be  the  conversion  and  civiliza- 
tion of  the  Indians,  and  that  at  a  time  when  some 
of  the  principal  nations  of  Europe  were  being  vio- 
lently torn  from  the  centre  of  Catholic  unity;  so 
that,  viewing  the  matter  in  connection  herewith, 

(1)     See  works  by  the  Smithsonian  Institute.     American  Aniiqinlies. 
— Bradford. 


the  thought  may  not  unreasonably  occur  to  the 
mind  of  the  reader  that  the  Almighty  had  deter- 
mined upon  compensating  his  church  for  the  losses 
sustained  in  the  old  world  by  the  accessions  made 
in  the  new.  Neither  will  it  be  forgotten,  that  the 
nation  made  use  of  for  the  accomplishment  of  this 
noble  and  beneficent  purpose,  was  the  then  power- 
ful Catholic  Kingdom  of  Spain,  under  whose  ban- 
ners the  children  of  Ignatius,  of  Domenic,  and 
Francis,  went  forth  to  the  ends  of  the  earth,  rival- 
ing in  their  thirst  for  the  conversion  of  nations, 
the  daring  and  ambition  of  their  reckless  secular 
brethren  in  their  pursuit  after  temporal  honors 
and  temporal  gain. 

Undaunted  by  the  most  formidable  dangers  to 
be  apprehended  from  long  and  perilous  voyages, 
from  close  and  constant  communication  with  rude 
and  barbarous  races,  or  from  bad  and  insalubrious 
climates,  the  history  of  that  period  presents  us 
with  the  agreeable  picture  of  the  Spanish  Religious 
hastening  to  every  part  of  the  globe,  wherever  the 
arms  of  his  country  had  opened  him  a  passage. 
Hence  the  account  of  the  noble  and  heroic  exer- 
tions of  the  missionary  priests  in  the  valley  of  the 
Mississippi,  in  the  wTilds  of  Peru,  on  the  burning 
plains  of  the  Indies,  and  amid  the  hills  and  valleys 
of  California.  No  fleet  or  expedition  of  any  im- 
portance sailed  in  those  days  under  the  auspices  of 
Catholic  Spain,  unattended  by  the  missionary 
priest,  the  bearer  and  exponent  at  the  same  time 

6  HISTORY    OF    THE 

of  that  symbol  of  faith — the  cross  of  the  Re- 
deemer, under  whose  shadow  the  countries  were 
to  be  gained  to  the  church  and  the  crown.  And 
whenever  the  reduction  of  a  race  happened  to 
prove  too  weighty  a  measure  for  the  civil  author- 
ity, it  had  only  to  be  entrusted,  as  in  the  case  of 
the  Californias,  to  the  zeal  and  devotion  of  the 
clerical  body,  in  order  to  ensure  its  final  submis- 
sion. When,  however,  a  different  policy  came  to 
be  adopted,  the  result  was  unhappily  alike  fatal  to 
the  interests  of  the  crown  and  the  well-being  of 
religion.  For  it  is  not  a  matter  unknown  to  the 
student  of  history,  that  from  the  moment  the 
monarchs  of  Spain  offered  violence  to  the  minis- 
ters of  the  gospel,  the  star  of  their  country's  tem- 
poral ascendency  began  to  decline,  their  political 
relations  were  altered,  the  seeds  of  disorder  and 
rebellion  were  sown  in  their  provinces,  and  terri- 
tory after  territory  began  to  renounce  their  au- 
thority; until  the  last  of  those  numerous  and  mag- 
nificent American  dependencies,  which  had  made 
them  at  one  time  the  pride  and  envy  of  the  most 
powerful  nations  of  the  world,  was  violently  torn 
from  their  grasp. 

On  the  other  hand,  as  long  as  the  responsible 
ministers  of  government  showed  themselves  capa- 
ble of  appreciating  the  labors  of  the  missionary, 
by  aiding  him  in  the  prosecution  of  his  noble 
and  charitable  enterprise,  the  power  of  Spain  rest- 
ed on  a  solid  and  unshaken  foundation.     The  im- 


possibility  of  governing  with  entire  satisfaction 
and  advantage  to  the  crown  provinces,  at  such  a 
considerable  distance  as  the  Spanish-American 
possessions,  is  put  forward  by  some  as  a  plea  for 
the  coldness  and  neglect  with  which  the  Court  at 
Madrid  treated  the  Paraguayan  and  Californian 
missionaries.  But,  however  plausible  and  satis- 
factory such  an  argument  may  appear  to  the  apol- 
ogists of  royalty,  it  will  never  satisfactorily  ac- 
count for  the  severity  and  injustice  exercised  in 
the  expulsion  of  the  Fathers  from  the  shores  of 
the  Pacific. 

It  is  true  that  the  royal  intentions  were  often- 
times thwarted,  and  the  most  positive  instructions 
artfully  evaded,  by  designing  and  unscrupulous 
ministers;  for  not  nnfrequently  did  it  happen  that 
when  orders  were  sent  from  the  Court  of  Madrid 
to  the  Mexican  government  in  favor  of  the  Fathers, 
these  royal  commands  were  either  entirely  neg- 
lected, or  executed  only  after  the  most  injurious 
delay.  This  was  remarkably  so  in  the  year  1698, 
as  also  in  the  years  1703  and  1707,  as  we  shall  see 
in  the  body  of  the  work.  Indirectly,  it  was  a  gain 
rather  than  a  loss;  for  it  showed  more  emphati- 
cally than  anything  else  could  have  done,  how  the 
conversion  of  the  country  was  the  work  of  the 
Fathers,  and  not  the  result  of  the  favors  or  patron- 
age of  the  State. 

What  contributed  not  a  little  to  the  missiona- 
ries' success  was  their  chivalrous  and  devoted  ex- 

8  HISTORY    OF    THE 

ertions  in  behalf  of  the  people  in  times  of  public 
calamity,  for,  regardless  of  their  own  personal 
comfort  and  safety,  they  never  withheld  the  kind 
offices  of  charity  from  any;  never  failed  to  exhibit 
in  their  lives  the  example  of  the  gospel  Samaritan, 
by  attending  on  all,  no  matter  how  loathsome,  in- 
fectious or  dangerous  the  diseases  with  which  they 
happened  to  be  afflicted.  Thus,  by  rare  examples 
of  virtue,  by  a  devotion  and  zeal  unparalleled 
in  the  annals  of  any  other  part  of  the  Church,  the 
pioneer  Jesuit  Fathers  in  Lower  California  con- 
tinued to  add  constantly  to  the  number  of  the 
faithful,  until,  at  the  moment  of  their  departure 
from  the  peninsula,  the  united  result  of  their  mis- 
sionary labors  proved  to  be  one  of  the  most  remark- 
able triumphs  of  gospel  success  achieved  for 
religion  in  modern  times.  It  was  the  conversion 
of  the  entire  country,  from  Cape  St.  Lucas  to  the 
mouth  of  the  Colorado. 

What  the  sons  of  Ignatius  did  for  Lower  Cali- 
fornia, the  children  of  Francis  accomplished  for 
Upper.  Everywhere  the  preaching  of  the  gospel 
was  attended  with  the  most  favorable  results. 
From  San  Diego  to  San  Francisco,  missionary  es- 
tablishments arose  along  the  coast,  where  thou- 
sands of  the  people  were  carefully  provided  with 
everything  requisite  for  their  temporal  wants,  in- 
structed in  the  great  truths  of  religion,  and  the 
arts  of  civilized  life. 

But,  viewing  the  result  of  the  missionaries'  la- 


bors  merely  on  the  ground  of  temporal  advan- 
tages done  to  the  natives,  there  is  much  to  admire 
and  extol  in  their  work,  while,  as  a  successful  un- 
dertaking, accomplished  with  such  limited  means, 
it  contrasts  most  advantageously  with  the  previous 
efforts  of  Government  in  a  similar  direction.  For 
one  hundred  and  fifty  years  immediately  succeed- 
ing the  discovery  of  the  peninsula,  the  subjugation 
and  settlement  of  the  country,  though  an  object 
of  the  highest  ambition  to  the  Spanish  authorities, 
remained  entirely  unattained.  Even  the  impossi- 
bility of  ever  accomplishing  the  same  by  secular 
means  was  freely  acknowledged  by  all. 

No  sooner,  however,  was  it  entrusted  to  the 
care  of  the  Religious  than  the  difficulties  experi- 
enced for  a  century  and  a  half  immediately  dis- 
appear. Neither  the  character  of  the  inhabitants, 
nor  the  apparent  infertility  of  the  land,  is  any 
longer  an  impediment  against  making  settlements 
on  the  coast.  The  soil,  though  yielding  only  the 
meagerest  sustenance  to  its  wretched  inhabitants, 
now,  at  the  approach  of  the  Fathers,  opens  its 
bosom,  and  pours  forth  its  rich  treasures  of  nature. 
At  the  voice  of  the  same  venerable  men,  fifty 
thousand  of  the  savages  "descend  from  the  moun- 
tains, abandon  their  barbarous  state,  accept  the 
religion  of  Christ,  and  engage  in  the  works  and 
arts  of  civilized  life.  To  paganism  succeeds  Chris- 
tianity; to  barbarism,  civilization;  to  wild,  neg- 
lected, uncultivated  regions,  blooming,  fertile  val- 

10  HISTORY    OF    THE 

leys  teeming  with  abundant  crops  and  extensive 
herds — all  the  result  of  the  labors  and  devoted  ex- 
ertions of  men  whose  only  means  of  enforcing  au- 
thority were  the  mild  and  persuasive  words  of  the 
gospel,  and  whose  only  worldly  inheritance  con- 
sisted of  a  cassock,  a  girdle  and  a  breviary. 

In  1834,  the  number  of  live'  stock  belonging  to 
the  missions  in  Upper  California  alone,  amounted 
to  four  hundred  and  twenty-four  thousand  head  of 
horned  cattle;  sixty-two  thousand  head  of  horse, 
and  three  hundred  and  twentv-one  thousand  of 
other  kinds;  while  for  the  same  year  the  cereal 
returns  are  given  at  one  hundred  and  twenty-two 
thousand  five  hundred  fanegas.1 

Of  the  articles  of  export,  which  consisted  of 
hides,  tallow,  oil,  wood,  wool,  tobacco  and  cot- 
ton, the  first  was  the  principal.  Two  hundred 
thousand  hides  annually  left  the  shores  for  the 
Sandwich,  Peruvian  and  American  markets.  The 
annual  gross  value  of  all  the  commodities  leaving 
the  country  may  be  estimated  at  close  on  half  a 
million  of  Spanish  piastres.2  Yet,  in  the  presence 
of  these  incontrovertible  figures,  there  are  those 
who  withhold  from  the  Fathers  that  praise  and  ad- 
miration so  justly  entitled  them  by  their  zealous 
and  devoted  exertions  in  behalf  of  the  temporal 
interests  of  the  people;  while  others,  more  un- 
generous and  unreasonable  still,  would  fain  have 

(1)  Afanega  is  equal  to  a  bushel. 

(2)  See  Exploration  de  V Oregon,  by  Mons.  Duflot  de  Mofras;  vol.  1, 
p.  480. 


the  world  regard  them  in  a  light  entirely  unworthy 
of  their  sacred  profession.  Of  the  former,  the 
Scotch  author  of  the  History  of  America,  may  be 
evidenced  as  an  instance;  nor  are  we  to  be  aston- 
ished at  this,  for  inasmuch  as  Robertson  never  vis- 
ited the  country,  and  was  not  over  favorable,  as  a 
writer,  to  Catholic  interests,  little  else  could  be 
expected  at  his  hands.1  Neither  should  we  be  sur- 
prised at  not  meeting  with  commendatory  expres- 
sions in  the  writings  of  men  who  paid  only  casual 
visits  to  the  shores,  as  Rogers,  Shelvocke  and 
Beechey;  but  that  men  residing  in  the  country,  and 
supposed  to  be  thoroughly  acquainted  with  its  his- 
tory, should  condemn  the  Religious,  and  censure 
them  in  the  coarsest  of  language,  betrays  either  an 
unpardonable  ignorance  of  the  true  history  of  the 
land,  or  a  mind  utterly  prejudiced  against  every 
thing  Catholic.2 

The  charges  laid  to  the  account  of  the  Fathers 
are  mainly  to  the  effect  that  they  were  not  suffi- 
ciently progressive;  that  they  kept  their  neophyte 
converts  in  a  state  of  perpetual  bondage,  and 
failed  to  elevate  them  to  a  high  and  desirable  de- 
gree of  civilization.  "  The  Spanish  population 
and  the  Fathers,"  say  the  writers  of  the  Annals  of 
San  Francisco,  u  could  not  or  would  not,  as  truly 
they  did  not,  as  we  may  afterwards  see,  do  any 
thing  to  promote  the  happiness  of  the  human  race 

(1)  Robertson's  History  of  America:  Book  VII.  p.  74. 

(2)  See  Forbes'  History  of  California — Annals  of  San  Francisco. 

12  HISTORY    OF    THE 

in  the  country.  Men  feed  the  ox  and  the  sheep 
for  their  milk  and  fleece,  the  hog  for  his  flesh,  the 
ass  for  the  strength  of  his  back,  and  all  for  their 
increase;  so  did  the  Fathers  feed  their  Indian  con- 
verts, and  find  abundant  profit  in  their  labor  and 
personal  services,  whom  they  left,  as  they  perhaps 
found,  if  they  did  not  transform  them  into  moral 
beasts,  just  as  tame,  dull  and  silly,  dirty,  diseased 
and  stupidly  obstinate  as  the  other  brutes  named.'71 
Before  indicting  so  grave  and  serious  a  charge 
against  the  most  devoted  and  remarkable  mis- 
sionaries  of  modern  times,  it  is  to  be  regretted 
that  the  writers  of  the  Annals  did  not  consider 
whether  it  was  any  advantage  to  the  natives  to  have 
been  instructed  in  a  knowledge  of  the  Christian 
religion;  to  have  been  reclaimed  from  their  wan- 
dering, precarious  existence,  instructed  in  the  ele- 
mentary principles  of  a  civilized  life,  and  provided 
with  all  the  requirements  demanded  for  their  tem- 
poral wants.  It  is  also  to  be  regretted,  that  they 
did  not  consider  whether  it  is  possible,  even  under 
the  most  favorable  circumstances,  to  speedily 
transform  the  savage  into  a  civilized  man.  The 
history  of  the  world,  and  the  experience  of  all 
ages,  would  have  told  them  exactly  the  contrary. 
In  no  part  of  the  globe,  and  under  no  circum- 
stances whatever,  has  it  ever  been  known  that  the 
wild  and  uncivilized  races  have  been  elevated  to 

(1)     Annals  San  Francisco:  p.  52. 


a  parallel  with  civilized  Christian  communities  in 
less  than  a  few  generations. 

The  history  of  the  whole  of  America  is  an  appo- 
site instance  of  this.  The  still  rude  and  uncivilized 
habits  of  the  yet  wandering  tribes  of  this  coast,  of 
Oregon,  and  the  great  western  prairies,  is  an  evi- 
dence of  how  little  even  a  Republican  government 
can  effect  in  exalting  a  people. 

The  Floridan  war,  which  lasted  from  1835  to 
1842,  cost  the  United  States  Government  of 
America  forty  million  dollars,  and  twenty  thousand 
of  the  flower  of  the  army;  and  yet,  we  are  told, 
that  until  lately  the  chief  of  the  Seminoles  was 
the  terror  of  the  frontier.1  Under  the  circum- 
stances, the  Fathers  did  all  that  could  be  reason- 
ably expected  at  their  hands,  and  more,  I  may. 
safely  affirm,  than  any  other  body  of  men,  outside 
the  Catholic  Church,  has  ever  accomplished  with 
similar  means.  The  material  they  had  to  work  on 
was  of  the  poorest  and  most  unfavorable  kind. 

According  to  the  testimony  of  the  most  impar- 
tial and  best  informed  writers,  the  physical  and 
mental  conditions  of  the  Californians  was  the  low- 
est and  weakest  of  all^the  American  races.  "  It  is 
not  for  Europeans,"  writes  the  author  of  the  Nat- 
ural and  Civil  History  of  California,  "who  have 
never  been  out  of  their  own  country,  to  conceive  an 
adequate  idea  of  this  people.  For  even  in  the  least 
frequented  corners  of  the  globe  there  is  not  a  na- 

(1)     See  Catholic  Church  in  the  United  States;  p.  16. 

14  HISTORY    OF    THE 

tion  so  stupid,  of  such  contracted  ideas,  and  so 
weak,  both  in  body  and  mind,  as  the  unhappy 
Californians."  "They  pass  whole  days,"  says  Hum- 
boldt, "stretched  out  on  their  bellies  on  the  sand 
when  it  is  heated  by  the  reverberation  of  the 
solar  rays."  And  Father  Boscana,  who  spent  a 
quarter  of  a  century  in  the  country,  gives  them 
even  a  more  unfavorable  character:  "  The  Indians 
of  California  may  be  compared  to  a  species  of 
monkey;  for  in  naught  do  they  express  interest 
except  in  imitating  the  action  of  others,  and  par- 
ticularly in  copying  the  ways  of  the  razon  or  white 
men,  whom  they  respect  as  beings  much  superior 
to  themselves;  but,  in  doing  so,  they  are  careful 
to  select  vice  in  preference  to  virtue.  This  is  the 
result,  undoubtedly,  of  their  corrupt  and  natural 
disposition."  * 

The  condition  of  the  Indians  after  their  conver- 
sion, when  instructed  by  the  Religious,  contrasts 
most  favorably  with  this. 

Captain  Benjamin  Morrell,  of  the  United  States 
service,  who  visited  the  country  in  1832,  speaks 
thus  of  the  Indians  of  the  mission  of  St.  Anthony 
of  Padua,  near  Monterey:  "  The  Indians  are  very 
industrious  in  their  labors,  and  obedient  to  their 
teachers  and  directors,  to  whom  they  look  up  as 
to  a  father  and  protector,  and  who  in  return  dis- 
charge their  duty  toward  these  poor  Indians  with 

(1)     Historical  Account  of  the  Indians  of  Upper  California;  by  Father 
Boscana,  p.  335. 


a  great  deal  of  feeling  and  humanity.  Tliey  are 
generally  well  clothed  and  fed,  have  houses  of 
their  own,  and  are  made  as  comfortable  as  they 
wish  to  be.  The  greatest  care  is  taken  of  all  who 
are  afflicted  with  any  disease,  and  every  attention 
is  paid  to  their  wants."  And  again:  ll  JSTo  person 
of  unprejudiced  mind  could  witness  the  labors  of 
these  Catholic  missionaries,  and  contemplate  the 
happy  results  of  their  philanthropic  exertions,  with- 
out confessing  that  they  are  unwearied  in  well- 
doing. The  Indians  are  generally  a  very  industri- 
ous, ingenious  and  cleanly  people."  1  Mr.  Russell 
Bartlett,  speaking  of  the  state  of  the  country  after 
the  destruction  of  the  missions  by  the  Mexican 
government,  writes  in  the  same  commendatory 
manner:  "Humanity  cannot  refrain  from  wishing 
that  the  dilapidated  Mission  of  San  Gabriel  should 
be  renovated,  and  its  broken  walls  be  rebuilt,  its 
roofless  houses  be  re-covered,  and  its  deserted 
walls  be  again  filled  with  its  ancient  industrious, 
happy  and  contented  population."  A  little  before, 
the  same  writer  had  said:  "Five  thousand  Indians 
were  at  one  time  collected  and  attached  to  the 
mission.  The}^  are  represented  to  have  been  sober 
and  industrious,  well  clothed  and  fed."  An  Amer- 
ican, who  passed  several  years  in  the  country, 
bears  equally  satisfactory  testimony  of  their  vir- 
tues; speaking  of  the  Mission  of  San  Jose,  he  says: 
"And  perhaps  there  are  few  places  in  the  world 

(1)     A  Narrative  of  Four  Vcytges  in  the  Pacific:  chap.  VI.,  p.  208. 

16  HISTORY    OF   THE 

where,  in  proportion  to  the  number  of  the  inhabi- 
tants, can  be  found  more  chastity,  industrious  habits 
and  correct  deportment  than  among  the  women  of 
this  place."  1 

The  Abbe  Domenic's  valuable  work  on  the 
Great  Deserts  of  America  also  contains  some  nota. 
ble  passages  respecting  the  condition  of  the  In- 
dians before  and  after  their  conversion:  "  The 
Indians  of  California  consist  of  poor  tribes,  living 
wretchedly  on  the  product  of  fishing,  of  hunting, 
and  of  wild  fruits.  Under  the  intelligent  and 
paternal  administration  of  the  missionaries  they 
had  become  happy,  docile  and  industrious,  even 
though  their  intelligence  was  much  inferior  to  that 
of  the  other  Indians  of  North  America.  They 
tilled  the  fields,  cultivated  the  vine,  and  had  very 
fine  orchards.  Previous  to  the  arrival  of  the 
Jesuiffe,  they  were  in  complete  ignorance  of  the 
art  of  agriculture,  and  even  of  the  pastoral  life. 
Stupidity  seemed  to  be  their  distinctive  *  char- 

Such  is  my  answer  to  those  whose  works  are 
dishonored  by  the  censures  and  condemnations 
they  contain  of  the  pioneer  Fathers  to  this  coast. 
In  the  body  of  the  work  the  reader  will  be  able  to 
appreciate  more  fully  the  true  character  of  the 
Religious,  on  reading  in  detail  an  account  of 
their  labors. 

(1)  Life  in  California,  during  a  Residence  of  Several  Years  in  that  Ter- 
ritory by  an  American:  p.  73. 

(2)  the  Deserts  of  North  America:  by  Abbe  Domenic,  vol.  1,  p.  239. 


Apart  entirely  from  the  foregoing  consideration 
respecting  the  benefits  conferred  on  the  natives, 
the  signal  advantages  indirectly  derived  by  the 
Government  of  this  country  from  the  presence  of 
the  Religious  on  the  coast,  should  be  more  than 
sufficient  to  shield  them  'from  the  ungenerous  re- 
marks of  American  writers.  It  is  to  the  presence 
of  the  pioneer  Catholic  missionaries  in  California 
that  is  due,  in  all  probability,  indirectly  the  fact 
that  this  part  of  the  coast  forms  to-day  a  portion 
of  the  American  Republic. 

After  the  failure  of  Admiral  Otando's  expedition 
in  1G83,  the  government  of  Spain  acknowledged 
its  inability  to  conquer  the  country,  or  to  make 
settlements  in  it.  A  declaration  to  this  effect  was 
reluctantly  made  by  the  agents  of  the  crown,  and 
a  determination  arrived  at  of  never  again  em- 
barking on  a  like  speculation.  By  thus  acknowl- 
edging their  inability  to  accomplish  their  pur- 
pose, "the  Spanish  authorities  may  be  said  to  have 
virtually  renounced  in  favor  of  others,  desirous 
of  making  a  similar  experiment,  whatever  claim 
or  title  they  had  to  the  country.  That  this  was 
sure  to  be  so  regarded  by  others,  appears  clear 
from  the  fact,  that  in  1768,  the  same  year  that  the 
Jesuit  Fathers  landed  in  Lower  California,  a  Rus- 
sian expedition  was  despatched  to  the  Pacific, 
with  the  view  of  promoting  the  mercantile  and  ter- 
ritorial interests  of  that  nation  in  these  parts.  The 

presence  of  the  Religious,  however,  under  the  flag 

18  HISTORY    OF    THE 

of  old  Spain,  prevented  for  a  time  the  contem- 
plated purpose.  But  Russia  did  not  entirely 
abandon  her  project,  for,  in  1807,  we  find  the  Cham- 
berlain of  his  Majesty  the  Emperor,  arriving  at  the 
bay  of  San  Francisco,  preparatory  to  forming  a 
settlement  on  the  coast,  which  was  afterward  ac- 
complished, at  the  port  of  Bodega  in  1812. 

Meantime,  the  English,  under  Rogers,  Dampier, 
Shelvocke  and  Anson,  were  frequenting  the  coun- 
try, and  inclined  to  regard  it  as  a  British  possession, 
in  consequence  of  Drake  having  taken  possession 
of  it  in  the  name  of  his  sovereign ;  while,  on  the 
other  hand,  the  French,  in  the  persons  of  La  Per- 
ouse  and  De  Mofras  were  also  endeavoring  to 
establish  a  claim.  It  is,  therefore,  by  no  means 
improbable,  on  the  contrary,  it  is  strongly  to  be 
credited,  that  had  not  the  interests  of  Spain  been 
so  largely  represented  by  the  devoted  Religious, 
California  would  have  fallen  a  prey,  long  before 
its  annexation  by  the  American  Republic,  to  one 
or  other  of  the  nations  referred  to  above. 

The  circumstances  under  which  the  Religious 
entered  on  the  field  of  their  labors,  deserve  to  be 
briefly  explained,  in  order  to  guard  against  un- 
favorable impressions.  Unlike  most  missionary 
work,  where  the  heralds  of  the  Gospel  go  forth 
unattended  by  any,  without  scrip  or  staff,  trusting 
for  all  things  to  the  providence  and  protection  of 
Him  who  ruleth  the  universe  and  provideth  for 
the  requirements  of  all,   the  first  missionaries  to 


California  were  attended  by  a  few  faithful  com- 
panions, and  under  the  protection  of  a  military 
escort.  That  this  was  derogatory  to  the  true 
spirit  of  the  Gospel,  and  unworthy  of  the  pioneer 
Fathers,  seems  to  have  been  regarded  by  some,  but 
it  should  be  remembered  that  the  object  contem- 
plated by  Government  was  twofold  in  its  char- 
acter: The  conversion  of  the  natives  to  the 
Catholic  faith,  and  their  subjection  to  the  do- 
minion of  Spain,  was  the  double  purpose  on  which 
the  Fathers  had  embarked.  On  this  condition, 
and  this  alone,  was  it  that  Spain  had  placed  the 
interests  of  the  country  in  their  hands.  Even  ad- 
mitting that  the  latter  did  not  enter  into  their 
purpose,  it  is  difficult  to  see  how  their  having 
taken  precautionary  measures  to  save  themselves 
against  the  violence  of  the  savages,  could  be  laid 
as  a  charge  at  their  doors. 

Doubtless  it  is  far  more  impressive  and  romantic 
to  read  of  the  missionary  falling  under  the  toma- 
hawk of  the  savages,  as  the  first  Jesuit  Fathers  in 
Canada,  than  to  learn  of  others  of  their  brethren 
landing  on  the  shores  of  an  equally  barbarous  race 
under  the  protection  of  a  few  armed  companions. 
But,  whether  the  course  adopted  by  the  latter  may 
not  be  more  in  accordance  with  reason,  and  more 
beneficial  to  religion  and  humanity,  is  a  question 
which  is  left  to  the  judgment  of  the  reader  to  deter- 
mine. Had  not  the  first  missionaries  to  California 
been  attended  by  some  of  their  Spanish  or  Mexican 


friends,  there  is  every  ground  to  suppose,  judging 
from  the  future  conduct  of  the  natives,  that  they 
would  have  fallen  victims  to  their  charitable  en- 
deavors at  the  hands  of  the  savages,  and  that  thus 
the  country  would  have  remained  sunk  in  its  bar- 
barism and  paganism  for  generations. 

There  was  also  another  and  more  politic  motive 
urging  this  course.  The  eastern,  or  Philippine, 
trade  had  to  be  protected ;  for  this  purpose  it  was 
necessary  that  garrisons  should  be  formed  along 
the  coast,  to  prevent  the  annual  Mexican  galleon 
from  falling  into  the  hands  of  the  British  then  in- 
festing the  shores.  Nor  was  the  hope  of  prevent- 
ing the  country  from  falling  a  prey  to  some  of  the 
nations  referred  to  above,  entirely  foreign  to  his 
Majesty's  purpose. 



Continuation  of  the  Preceding. — Geographical  Position  of  the  Coun- 
try.— Expeditions  undertaken  for  the  Discovery  of  the  Imag- 
inary Strait  between  the  Atlantic  and  Pacific.  —  Treaty  of 
Tordesillas.  —  Magellan  sails  to  the  Philippines  by  a  Wester- 
ly Course.  —  Charles  V.  orders  Cortes  to  seek  for  the  Strait 
—  Cortes  sends  Christopher  de  Olid. — Cortes  goes  to  Spain. — 
Grijalya's  Expedition.  —  Discovery  of  California. 

The  first  quarter  of  the  present  century  was  the 
most  brilliant  period  of  the  Catholic  missions  of 
California.  It  was  during  this  time,  after  the 
labors  of  the  missionaries  had  resulted  in  the  con- 
version of  the  greater  part  of  the  people,  that 
fifty  thousand  of  the  inhabitants,  strangers  to  the 
care,  turmoil  and  ambition  of  the  outer  world, 
dwelt  in  those  peaceful  abodes  erected  everywhere 
through  the  country  under  the  fostering  care  of 
the  Religious.  There,  day  by  day,  as  the  duties 
of  religion  summoned  them  to  the  worship  of  God, 
their  simple  but  grateful  accents  ascended  to 
Heaven  in  humble  acknowledgment  of  the  mani- 
fold blessings  bestowed  on  them,  both  in  a  spiritual 
and  temporal  sense.  Instead  of  rude,  illiterate 
savages,  destitute  of  every  idea  of  religion,  and  of 
every  social  comfort  and  enjoyment,  they  now  saw 
themselves  in  the  possession  of  religion,  instructed 
in  the  great  scheme  of  Redemption,  abounding  in 
bread,    comfortably    lodged   and   decently    clad. 

22  HISTORY    OF   THE 

Even  to  the  most  censorious  and  exacting,  the 
change  must  appear  advantageous  and  appreciable. 
To  the  wild,  uncultivated,  wandering  races  moving 
vaguely  from  place  to  place,  unconscious  alike  of 
the  God  who  created  them,  as  well  as  the  end  for 
which  they  were  destined,  succeed,  under  the  care 
of  the  Religious,  the  numerous  civilized,  Christian 
congregations,  leading  most  regular  and  orderly 
lives,  and  discharging  devoutly  the  duties  that  re- 
ligion demanded  at  their  hands.  So  happy  and 
contented,  indeed,  was  their  condition,  before  the 
baneful  influence  of  a  ruinous  Mexican  policy  was 
felt  in  the  land,  that  one  is  in  every  sense  justified 
in  regarding  their  state  as  amongst  the  most  fa- 
vored of  any  neophyte  Christian  community  of  the 
world.  But  this  was  not  to  continue.  In  the  in- 
scrutable designs  of  divine  Providence  a  climax 
was  reached:  the  happiest  and  best  days  of  the 
Californian  missions  had  come  and  were  gone. 

In  1822,  Mexico  separated  from  the  parent  coun- 
try and  proclaimed  its  independence.  This  was  a 
most  dangerous  and  ill-boding  occurrence  for  the 
missions.  Men  who,  while  subject  to  authority, 
used  every  means  in  their  power  to  avoid  the  ex- 
ecution of  orders  favorable  to  the  Fathers,  now 
that  they  were  free,  were  not  likely  to  take  meas- 
ures for  promoting  their  interests.  Such,  in  fact, 
proved  to  be  the  case. 

Two  years  after  the  Republic  was  proclaimed, 
the  Christians  of  California  were  removed  from 


under  the  control  of  the  Fathers:  an  order  arrived 
at   that   date  for    the   manumission  of  all  whose 
characters  were  unimpeachable.     They  were  to  re- 
ceive certain  portions  of  land  and  to  be  entirely  in- 
dependent  of  the  Religious.     At  the  same  time 
the  annual  salary  paid  to  the  Fathers,  and  deriva- 
ble from  the  interest  of  the  Pious  Fund,  was  with- 
held and  appropriated  by  government;  while  si  ill 
later  on,  the  whole  of  the  fund  donated  originally 
by  the  pious  benefactors  for  the  exclusive  use  of 
religion,  was  confiscated  by  Congress  and  expend- 
ed for  purposes  of  State.1     To  these,  other  equally 
intolerant  measures  rapidly  succeeded.     In  1833, 
the  Mexican  government  passed  a  decree  for  the 
removal  of  all  the  Religious,2  and  the  distribution 
of  the  lands  among  the  Indians  and  settlers.     The 
natural  consequence  of  such  a  radical  measure  was 
the  ruin  and  destruction  of  all  that  the  mission- 
aries had  effected  since  their  entry  into  the  coun- 
try.    The  Indians,  being  unprepared  for  so  sweep- 
ing a  change,  when  left  entirely  to  themselves,  un- 
controlled and  unsupported  by  their  religious  pro- 
tectors, quickly  fell  back  into  their  original  indo- 
lence, and  squandered  away  all    that    was  given 
them  by  government,  as  children  are  wont  to  trifle 
witli  valuables  which  accidentally  happen  to  fall 
into  their  hands.     Of  this,  even  the  most  unfavor- 

(1)  The  Pious  Fund  was  the  aggregate  sum  of  the  donations  bestow- 
ed by  the  faithful  on  the  Fathers  for  the  use  of  the  missions.  Its  his- 
tory will  be  given  in  the  Second  Vol. 

(2)  They  were  to  be  replaced  by  a  secular  clergy. 

24  HISTORY    OF   THE 

able  writers  bear  unequivocal  testimony:  "The 
simple  Indians  were  quite  incapable  of  standing 
alone,  and  rapidly  gambled  away  or  otherwise 
squandered  the  little  property  assigned  to  them. 
Beggary  or  plunder  was  only  left  to  them  to  sub- 
sist upon."1 

Such  was  the  unhappy  and  ruinous  consequence 
of  the  interference  of  government  with  the  work 
of  the  missionaries.  The  Indians,  when  left  to 
themselves,  refused,  in  almost  every  instance,  to 
labor.  They  either  had  not  sufficient  intelligence 
to  foresee  the  evils  they  were  bringing  upon  them- 
selves and  their  families  by  abstaining  from  work, 
or  they  had  not  sufficient  determination  of  purpose 
to  conquer  their  natural  indolence  by  engaging  in 
those  duties  they  cheerfully  undertook  at  the  bid- 
ding of  the  Fathers.  Attributable  to  one  cause  or 
the  other,  the  result  was  equally  the  same — the 
temporal  and  spiritual  ruin  of  the  people.  Every- 
where through  the  country  the  lands  remained  al- 
most wholly  unfilled,  the  houses  fell  into  ruins, 
the  herds  were  destroyed,  and  the  Indians  them- 
selves scattered,  diminished  and  demoralized.  In- 
deed, so  remarkable  and  striking  was  the  change 
effected  under  these  circumstances,  that,  only  we 
have  the  most  undoubted  authority  for  its  reality, 
we  would  feel  reluctant  in  accepting  it  as  true. 

In  the  eight  years  which  passed  between  1834 
and  1842,  the  live  stock  belonging  to  the  missions 

(1)     Annals  of  San  Francisco,  p.  75. 


decreased  from  eight  hundred  and  eight  thousand 
to  sixty-two  thousand.  The  diminution  in  the 
agricultural  returns  was  equally  significant,  the 
returns  having  fallen  from  seventy  thousand  to 
four  thousand  hectoliters,  while,  as  regarded  the 
Indians  themselves,  their  numbers  fell  from  thirty 
thousand  six  hundred  and  fifty  to  four  thousand 
five  hundred.1 

Although  the  action  of  the  Mexican  Govern- 
ment resulted  in  the  almost  entire  ruin  of  the  mis- 
sions, Catholicity,  withal,  did  not  lose  its  hold  upon 
the  country.  Another  and  more  brilliant  era  was 
about  to  open  upon  the  Church.  In  the  ineffable 
designs  of  Divine  Providence,  the  native  Christian 
congregations  were  to  be  succeeded  by  Europeans. 
Upon  the  ruins  of  the  old  missions  was  to  arise  a 
new  and  more  beautiful  Church,  fair  and  noble  in 
all  its  proportions,  combining  within  its  fold  men 
of  almost  every  clime  and  every  race,  Celt  and 
Saxon,  Frank  and  Teuton,  those  from  the  banks  of 
the  Tiber,  as  well  as  those  from  the  Guadalquiver 
and  the  Mississippi,  and  thus  second  only  in  num- 
bers and  affluence  to  some  of  the  oldest  and  most 
prominent  centres  of  Catholic  unity  within  the 
limits  of  the  Republic.  This  is  the  modern  Church 
of  California.  How  it  came  to  be  formed,  how  its 
numbers  increased,  its  churches  arose,  its  religious 
houses  were  founded,  its   institutions  established, 

(1)     Vide  Exploration  du   Territoire  de  L' Oregon,  des  Calif ornies  et  de 
la  Mer  Vermeille ;  vol.  1,  p.  321. 

26  HISTORY    OF    THE 

its  bishoprics  formed  and  its  clergy  increased,  the 
reader  shall  learn  in  the   latter  half  of  the  work. 

In  the  older  and  less  perfect  geographies,  the 
boundaries  assigned  to  California  were  considera- 
bly greater  than  its  present  dimensions.  Up  al- 
most to  modern  times  its  geographical  limits  were 
but  vaguely  defined.  John  Bleau,  in  his  volumi- 
nous work  published  at  Amsterdam,  in  1622,  com- 
prehended in  California  all  the  countries  west  of 
New  Spain  and  New  Galicia,  even  to  the  Anian 
Straits.  u  California  communiter  dicitur  quidquid 
terrarum  Novae  Hispaniae  atque  Novae  Galiciae  ad 
occidentem  objicitur,  quae  sane  latissime  patent  et 
ad  extremes  America?  meridionalis  terminos  et  f re- 
turn quod  vulgo  Anian  vocant,  pertinent."  The 
limits  thus  assigned  to  the  country  by  Bleau,  and 
others  of  that  period,  were  never  generally  ac- 
cepted. They  however  gave  what,  in  their  day, 
was  supposed  to  be  the  country's  dimensions. 

By  California  in  its  present  limits,  comprising 
the  Upper  and  Lower  countries  of  that  name,  is 
understood  that  line  or  tract  of  coast  land  on  the 
western  shores  of  the  North  American  continent 
between  the  twenty-second  and  forty-eighth  de- 
grees of  north  latitude,  and  the  one  hundred  and 
ninth  and  one  hundred  and  twenty-fourth  degrees 
of  west  longitude.  Its  extreme  length,  from  Cape 
St.  Lucas  in  the  south  to  Cape  Mendocino  in  the 
north,  is  about  five  hundred  leagues,  or  fifteen  hun- 
dred miles.     It  varies  in  breadth  from  thirty  to 


three  hundred  miles  and  more.  The  superficial 
area  of  this  belt  of  coast  land  is  for  Lower  Cali- 
fornia two  hundred  thousand  square  miles;  and  for 
Upper  one  hundred  and  eighty  thousand  nine 
hundred  and  eighty-two,  making  a  total  of  three 
hundred  and  eighty-eight  thousand  nine  hundred 
and  eighty-two  square  miles  for  the  entire  coun- 
try. Upper  California  extends  about  seven  hun- 
dred and  fifty  miles  northwest  to  Oregon,  from 
the  thirty-second  to  the  forty-second  parallel  of 

It  is  to  the  indomitable  energy  and  liberal  mu- 
nificence of  the  conqueror  of  Mexico  that  we  owe 
the  discovery  of  the  country,  under  the  following 
circumstances.  In  1522,  after  the  conquest  of 
Mexico,  Fernando  Cortes  acquainted  his  royal 
master,  Charles  V.,  with  his  design  of  discovering 
the  imaginary  strait  supposed  to  exist  between 
the  American  continents.  It  is  proper  to  observe, 
that  after  the  discovery  of  America,  at  the  close 
of  the  fifteenth  century,  by  Christopher  Columbus 
or  Colon,  an  opinion  was  current  in  Europe  that 
the  Atlantic  communicated  with  the  Pacific  by 
a  strait  in  the  vicinity  of  what  is  now  known  as 
the  Isthmus  of  Panama. "  It  was  with  the  view  of 
finding  this  passage,  and  thereby  facilitating  the 
voyage  to  the  Indies,  of  which  so  much  was  then 
spoken,  that  the  adventurous  Spaniard  entered 
upon  his  fourth  and  last  voyage.  The  extraordi- 
nary accounts  given  of  the  riches  of  the  East  by 


the  Venetian  and  Florentine  merchants,  as  well  as 
the  exaggerated  description  of  travelers,  whose, 
works  then  for  the  first  time  began  to  attract  pub- 
lic attention,  inflamed  the  public  mind  with  the 
desire  of  being  able  to  traffic  directly  with  those 
nations,  and  not  as  before,  through  Mahometan 

In  1499,  Vasco  de  Grama  returned  from  his 
voyage  to  the  East  by  the  way  of  the  Cape  of 
Good  Hope.  This,  while  it  opened  a  new  but  diffi- 
cult passage  to  the  Indies,  only  increased  the 
desire  of  finding  a  shorter  and  less  perilous  route. 
To  satisfy  the  public  desire  then,  as  also  to  accom- 
modate himself  to  the  wish  of  the  monarch,  Ad- 
miral Columbus  sailed  from  the  Tagus  for  the 
fourth  and  last  time  in  his  life,  in  1502.  He  had 
promised  their  Catholic  Majesties  on  starting  that 
nothing  would  be  left  unaccomplished  to  discover 
the  passage.  Faithful  to  his  promise,  he  carefully 
examined  the  coast  as  far  north  as  the  Gulf  of 
Honduras,  without,  it  is  unnecessary  to  say,  having 
found  the  imaginary  strait. 

From  this  till  1523,  several  attempts  were  made 
to  discover  the  passage.  In  1514,  the  Portuguese 
discovered  the  Moluccas,  which  the  Spaniards 
claimed  as  their  own,  in  accordance  with  the 
treaty  of  Tordecillas,  by  which  it  had  been  agreed 
that  all  the  countries  to  the  distances  of  three  hun- 
dred and  seventy  leagues  east  of  the  Azores  should 
belong    to    the   Portuguese    crown,    and    all  to 


the  west  to  the  kingdom  of  Spain.  This  was  the 
memorable  treaty  known  as  the  "Partition  of  the 
Ocean."  It  was  occasioned  by  the  inconveniences 
arising  from  the  immunities  granted  by  different 
Popes  to  the  Spanish  and  Portuguese  monarchs. 
In  1454,  Pope  Nicholas  V.  granted,  by  a  Bull  of 
approval  to  Portugal,  all  the  discoveries  she  had 
made,  or  might  afterward  make,  on  the  African 
coast  and  to  the  east.  On  the  other  hand,  Fer- 
dinand and  Isabella  obtained  a  counter  prerogative 
from  Alexander  VI.,  by  which  they  were  to  enjoy 
and  inherit  all  the  discoveries  made  to  the  west.1 
As  the  limits  in  both  cases  were  but  vaguely  de- 
fined, the  pretensions  of  the  monarchs  eventually 
became  a  matter  of  dispute  in  the  case  of  the  Mo- 
luccas, and  hence  the  treaty  alluded  to  respecting 
the  division  of  the  ocean. 

To  obviate,  as  far  as  was  practicable,  the  diffi- 
culty of  the  case,  Magellan  and  Falero  proposed  to 
Cardinal  Ximenes,  to  sail  to  the  island  by  a  west- 
ern route,  if  aided  by  Government.  From  what 
motive  it  is  not  stated,  but  the  proposal  did  not 
meet  with  approval  at  the  hands  of  his  Eminence. 
The  matter  remained  in  abeyance  till  after  his 
death,  when  the  offer  was  renewed  to  the  monarch 
in  person,  and  with  greater  success;  for,  in  the 
year  1519,  Magellan  started  on  his  voyage.  After 
crossing  the  equator,  he  steered  along  the  south- 
ern coast  till  he  came  to  the  strait  to  which  he  has 

(1)     See  Bull  and  Explanation  at  end  of  chapter. 

30  HISTORY   OF    THE 

given  his  name.  Through  it  he  effected  a  passage, 
with  considerable  difficulty,  into  the  southern 
ocean.  Continuing  his  voyage,  he  arrived  at  the 
Ladrones,  and  subsequently  at  the  Philippines, 
where  he  unfortunately  perished,  with  some  of  his 
companions.  The  others  continued  the  voyage 
till  they  came  to  the  Moluccas,  whence  they  re- 
turned to  Spain,  in  1522,  by  way  of  the  Cape  of 
Good  Hope.  This  was  the  first  complete  voyage 
made  around  the  globe,  and  was  effected  in  the 
space  of  three  years. 

A  new,  though  long  and  difficult,  passage  to  the 
Indies  being  now  discovered,  and  the  position  of 
the  world  better  determined,  the  general    desire 
was  increased  of  finding  a  readier  route ;  Charles  V. 
was  as  deeply  interested  in   the  matter  as  any  of 
his  subjects.     In  1523  he  sent  orders  to  Cortes  to 
seek  for  the  strait  on  both  sides  of  the  continent. 
Cortes  was  not  then  in  a  position  to  fully  carry 
out  the  royal  commands,  and  contented  himself 
with  sending  Christopher  de  Olid,  with  Habuercas 
and  Hortado,  to  take  a  survey  of  the  coast  on  the 
eastern  side.     Meantime  the  general  opinion  re- 
garding the  existence  of  the  strait  was  increased, 
in  consequence  of  information  received  from  the 
natives  by   Pedro  Alvarado.     Writing    to  Cortes 
from  Mazatlan,  he  says:   "  They  (the  natives)  also 
told  me  that  at  five  days  journey  beyond  a  very 
large    city,   which   is  twenty    days  journey  from 
hence,  this  land   terminates;   and  this  they  posi- 


lively  declare.     If  so,  there  is  no  question  with  me 
but  this  is  the  strait." 

For  the  solution  of  the  problem,  it  was  necessary 
that  an  expedition  should  be  formed  for  the  care- 
ful  survey  of   the  western  coast.     To  this  end, 
Cortes  caused  to  be  carried  across  from  Vera  Cruz, 
on  the  Atlantic,  to  Zacatulla,  on  the  Pacific,  mate- 
rials for  the  construction  of  four  vessels,  two  cara- 
vals  and  two  brigantines.     He  also  despatched  a 
number  of  artisans  for  the  execution  of  the  work. 
His  plan,  however,  was  frustrated  for  a  time  by  an 
unhappy   occurrence.     After  the    arrival   of   the 
workmen  and  materials,  the  magazine  accidentally 
took  fire,  when  all  was  destroyed  but  the  iron.    To 
any  but  a  man  such  as  Cortes,  this  would  have 
presented  an  insurmountable  difficulty ;  but,  omi- 
nous as  the  occurrence  may  have  appeared,  he  did 
not  permit  it  to  interfere  with  his  project,  for  he 
immediately  gave  orders  for  purchasing  and  for- 
warding similar  material.     His  object  in  fitting 
out  the  expedition  was  not  so  much  with  the  view 
of  discovering  the  strait  (as  may  be  seen  from  the 
following  extract  of  a  letter  to  his  Majesty),  as  of 
discovering  new  and  unheard  of  dominions.    Writ- 
ing to  the  Emperor  from  Mexico,   he  says:     "I 
place  value  on  these  ships  beyond  all  expression, 
being  certain  that  with  them,   if  it  please  God,  I 
shall  be  the  instrument  of  your  imperial  Majesty 
being  in  these  parts  sovereign  of  more  kingdoms 
and  dominions  than  have  been  hitherto  known  in 

32  HISTORY    OF    THE 

our  nation.  May  God  please  to  prosper  it  in  his 
good  pleasure,  that  your  Majesty  may  obtain  such 
an  unparalleled  advantage;  for  I  believe  that 
when  I  have  performed  this,  your  Highness  may 
be  monarch  of  the  whole  world,  whenever  you 
please."  * 

In  the  following  clause  of  the  same  letter,  he 
expresses  the  hope  of  finding  the  strait,  and  the 
important  advantages  likely  to  result  from  it:  "In 
the  former  clause,  most  potent  Lord,  I  have  speci- 
fied to  your  Majesty  the  parts  whither  I  have  sent 
people,  both  by  land  and  sea,  with  which,  under 
the  divine  favor,  I  believe  your  Highness  will  be 
greatly  pleased.  And,  as  it  is  my  continual  care 
and  employment  to  project  every  possible  way  of 
putting  into  execution  my  zeal  for  the  service  of 
your  royal  Majesty,  seeing  nothing  further  is  re- 
maining but  the  knowledge  of  the  coast  yet  undis- 
covered between  the  river  Panaco  and  Florida, 
surveyed  by.  Captain  Juan  Ponce  de  Leon,  and 
from  thence  to  the  northern  coast  of  the  said  coun- 
try of  Florida,  as  far  as  the  Baccaloas,  it  being  cer- 
tain that  on  that  coast  is  the  strait  running  into 
the  south  sea;  and  if  it  be  found,  according  to  the 
true  draft  which  I  have  of  that  part  of  the  sea 
near  the  archipelago,  which  by  your  Highness' 
orders  Magellan  discovered,  I  am  of  opinion  it  will 
issue  very  near  it.  And,  if  it  please  the  Lord  that 
the  said  strait  join  there,  the  voyage  to  the  Spice 

(1)    Vide  Cartas  de  Cortes:  page  374. 


Islands  will  be  so  convenient  for  these,  your  Ma- 
jesty's dominions,  that  it  will  be  two  thirds  shorter 
than  the  present  course;  and  without  any  hazard 
in  going  or  coming,  for  the  voyage  will  be  entirely 
among  the  states  and  countries  belonging  to  your 
Highness;  that,  in  any  necessity,  they  may  safely 
put  in  where  most  convenient,  as  in  a  country 
belonging  to  your  Highness,  whose  flag  they  carry." 

After  pointing  out  to  his  Majesty  the  expenses 
necessary  to  be  incurred,  he  continues:  "Thus,  I 
think  of  sending  ships,  which  I  have  caused  to  be 
built,  into  the  south  sea,  that,  God  willing,  they 
may  by  the  end  of  July,  1524,  sail  downward 
along  the  same  coast,  in  quest  of  the  same  strait. 
For,  if  there  be  any  such  thing,  it  must  appear 
either  to  those  in  the  south  sea  or  to  those  in  the 
north  ;  as  those  in  the  south  are  to  keep  the  coast 
in  sight  till  they  find  the  said  strait,  or,  that  the 
land  joins  with  that  which  was  discovered  by 
Magellan;  and  the  other  on  the  north,  as  I  have 
said,  till  they  find  the  land  joins  with  the  Bacco- 

"Thus,  on  the  one  side  or  the  other,  this  im- 
portant question  must  be  solved.  I  hereby  inform 
your  Majesty,  that  by  the  intelligence  I  have  re- 
ceived of  the  countries  an  the  upper  coast  of  the 
south  sea,  the  sending  of  those  ships  along  it  will 
be  attended  with  great  advantage  to  me,  and  no 
less  to  your  Majesty.  But,  acquainted  as  I  am 
with  your  Majesty's  desire  of  knowing  this  strait, 

34  HISTORY    OF   THE 

and  likewise  of  the  great  service  the  discovery  of 
it  would  be  to  your  royal  crown,  I  have  laid  aside 
all  other  profits  and  advantages  of  which  I  have 
the  most  certain  knowledge,  in  order  to  follow 
entirely  this  course.  The  Lord  direct  it  according 
to  his  good  pleasure,  and  may  your  Majesty  obtain 
your  desire,  and  likewise  mine  of  serving  you." 

"  Mexico,  October  15th,  1524." 

The  zeal  manifested  by  Cortes,  in  this  letter  to 
the  Emperor,  is  thought  to  be  due  rather  to  a  de- 
sire of  regaining  his  fast-failing  reputation  and 
ascendancy  than  to  a  single-minded  purpose  of 
serving  the  crown.  "He  flattered  himself,"  says 
the  author  of  the  political  essay  on  New  Spain, 
"that  he  would  be  able  by  the  brilliancy  of  his 
achievements  to  silence  the  representations  of  his 

When  the  vessels  to  which  he  alluded  in  his 
letter  to  the  Emperor  were  finished,  he  received 
orders  to  send  them  in  search  of  the  "  Trinity," 
one  of  Magellan's,  which  had  been  lost  on  the  way 
to  the  Philippines.  The  expedition  was  in  conse- 
quence retarded  for  a  while.  Meantime,  Cortes 
returned  to  Spain,  where  he  was  highly  honored 
by  the  Emperor,  being  made  Marquis  of  Gaxacara, 
Captain  General  of  New  Spain,  and  the  provinces 
and  coast  to  the  south.  He  also  received  from  the 
crown,  both  for  himself  and  his  heirs,  the  twelfth 
part  of  whatever  he  conquered,  but  on  the  condi- 
tion of  providing  the  expedition  himself. 


The  following  year  he  returned  to  Mexico,  and, 
according  to  agreement,  fitted  out  at  his  private 
expense  the  vessels  required  for  his  purpose. 
These  he  despatched  on  a  voyage  of  discovery,  in 
charge  of  his  relative,  Diego  Hurtado  de  Mendoza, 
but,  unfortunately,  the  expedition  miscarried.1 
One  ship's  company  mutinied  against  their  com- 
mander, and  the  other,  in  which  Hurtado  himself 
had  command,  was  lost.  Cortes  was  still  unshaken 
in  his  purpose.  He  had  resolved  to  prosecnte  the 
inquiry  to  the  end,  even  under  the  most  unfavor- 
able circumstances.  With  this  view  he  ordered 
other  vessels  to  be  built  immediately. 

The  new  expedition  was  entrusted  to  Hernando 
Grijalva  and  Diego  Beccera  de  Mendoza,  Ortun 
Ximenes  being  pilot.  They  put  to  see  in  1534, 
and,  although  ordered  not  to  part  company,  they 
were  accidentally  separated  the  first  night,  and 
never  met  again  during  the  voyage.  Grrijalva, 
after  sailing  north  some  three  hundred  leagues, 
returned  to  New  Spain,  without  further  discovery 
than  that  of  a  barren  island,  supposed  to  be  one 
of  a  group  off  the  Californian  coast.2     Mendoza, 

(1)  Three  Franciscans — Father  Martin  de  la  Cortina  and  two  others 
accompanied  this  expedition.  See  -.Docunmitos  para  la  Historia  de 
Mexico:  vol.  5,  p.  7. 

(2)  Humboldt  says  that  Grijalva  landed  in  California,  but  he  does 
not  cite  any  authority  in  support  of  his  assertion.  On  the  other  hand, 
Miguel  Venegas,  the  oldest  and  most  reliable  author,  tells  us,  indirectly, 
that  he  did  not ;  except,  indeed,  landing  on  an  island  off  the  coast 
can  be  regarded  as  such.  "Grijalva,  after  sailing  three  hundred 
leagues,  came  to  a  desert  island,  which  he  called  Santo  Thome,  and  is 
believed  to  lie  near  the  point  of  California.  "Hist.  Cal.,  Venegas';  vol.  1, 
p.  13L 

36  HISTORY    OF   THE 

the  master  of  the  other  vessel  fared  even  worse. 
Being  of  a  haughty  and  tyrannical  disposition,  he 
so  angered  a  part  of  the  crew,  that  seizing  the 
first  opportunity,  they  fell  upon  him  and  murdered 
him,  instigated,  it  is  said,  by  the  pilot.  Ximenes 
thereupon  became  master  of  the  vessel,  and  con- 
tinued the  vogage;  but,  going  ashore  in  the 
vicinity  of  Santa  Cruz  Bay,  was  murdered,  together 
with  twenty  of  his  companions,  by  the  natives.1 
The  vessel  was  taken  back  to  Mexican  waters  by 
the  survivors.  Still  resolved  upon  prosecuting 
the  inquiry,  and  determined  this  time  at  least  to 
avoid  a  repetition  of  the  disaster,  Cortes  formed 
the  resolution  of  making  in  person  a  final  at- 
tempt. Having  notified  his  intention  to  this 
effect,  numerous  adventurous  spirits,  attracted 
alike  by  the  novelty  of  the  enterprise,  as  well  as 
by  the  ability  of  the  man,  nocked  to  his  standard. 
With  these,  he  started  from  Chiametla,  on  the 
coast  of  New  Spain,  and  steered  for  that  part  of 
the  coast  where  Ximenes  had  met  with  his  death. 
He  had  with  him  all  the  requisites  necessary  for 
planting  a  colony — four  hundred  Spaniards,  three 
hundred  negro  slaves,  an  abundant  supply  of  farm 

(1)  Although  it  is  very  generally  believed  that  Ximenes'  party  landed 
in  California,  it  is  yet  not  entirely  beyond  doubt. — Prescott  and  Taylor, 
see  Conquest  of  Mexico,  vol.  Ill,  p.  334,  and  Exploration  of  Lower 
California,  p.  15— are  of  this  opinion,  but  they  have  forgotten  to  give 
us  the  authority  on  which  they  make  the  "assertion.  Even  granting 
that  Ximenes  did  arrive  at  Santa  Cruz  Bay  (which  is  by  no  means  be- 
yond doubt),  he  might  have  gone  ashore  only  on  one  of  the  islands, 
and  have  been  murdered  there  by  the  natives.  All  that  Venegas  says, 
is  this :  ' '  For,  coming  to  that  part  which  has  since  been  called  Santa 
Cruz  Bay,  and  seems  to  be  a  part  of  the  inward  coast  of  California, 
he  went  ashore,  and  was  there  killed  by  the  Indians."  Hist.  Cat., 


.  t      .!'■■■ 


implements,  seeds,  and  everything  else  required 
for  the  undertaking.  With  these  he  crossed  the 
entrance  to  the  gulf,  and  after  very  considerable 
difficulty,  in  which  his  vessels  were  often  in  a 
most  perilous  position  from  violent  storms,  he 
landed  eventually  on  Californian  soil,  at  Santa 
Cruz  Bay,  toward  the  beginning  of  June,  1536; 
thereby  earning  for  himself  the  honor  of  being  the 
first  known  discoverer  of  this  part  of  the  Ameri- 
can Continent.1 

(1)  I  have  used  the  expression  "  first  known  discoverer,"  for  the  au- 
thor of  the  Political  Essmj  on  New  Spain,  in  a  note  at  page  321  of  his 
work,  says:  "I  found  in  a  manuscript,  preserved  in  the  archives  of  the 
viceroyalty  of  Mexico,  that  California  was  discovered  in  1526.  I  know 
not  on  what  authority  this  assertion  is  founded.  Cortes,  in  his  letters 
to  the  Emperor,  written  so  late  as  1524,  frequently  speaks  of  the  pearls 
which  were  found  near  the  island  of  the  South  Sea  ( California  was  then 
thought  to  be  an  island) ;  however,  the  extract  made  by  the  author  of 
the  Relation  del  Viaje  al  Estuelo  de  Fuca  (P.  VII,  xxn,)  from  the  val- 
uable manuscripts  preserved  in  the  Academy  of  History,  at  Madrid, 
seem  to  prove  that  California  had  not  been  seen  in  the  expedition  of 
Diego  Hurtado  de  Mendoza,  in  1532."  (See  Political  Essay  on  New  Spain.) 


Alexander,  bishop,  servant  of  the  servants  of  God  : 
To  our  beloved  son  Ferdinand,  King,  and  to  our  beloved 
daughter  Isabella,  Queen  of  Castile,  Leon,  Arragon,  the 
Sicilies,  and  Granada:  Most  illustrious  personages,  health 
and  apostolic  benediction. 

Among  the  many  works  pleasing  to  the  divine  Majesty 
and  desirable  to  our  hearts,  this  particularly  prevails, 
that  the  Catholic  faith  and  Christian  religion,  especially 
in  our  times,  may  be  exalted,  amplified,  and  everywhere 
diffused,  the  salvation  of  souls  procured,  and  barbarous 

38  BISTORT   OF  tup: 

nations  subjugated  and  made  obedient  to  fche  faith. 
Honco,  when  we  were  raised  \>y  fche  divine  olemenoy, 
though  of  little  merit,  to  the  holy  chair  of  Peter,  knowing 
you  in  be  true  Oatholio  Icings  and  prinoes,  as  indeed  we 
have  always  known  yon  fco  be,  and  as  yon  have  also  l>y 
your  illustrious  deeds  made  yourselves  known  as  suoh  bo 
fche  whole  world :  nor  did  .you  merely  desire  fco  be  such, 
I )ul- you  have  ;il s<>  used  every  effort,  study,  and  diligence, 
sparing  no  fatigue,  no  cost,  no  danger,  even  shedding 
your  own  blood,  and  devoting  your  whole  soul  and  all 
your  energies  l<>  lliis  purpose,  as  your  conquest  of  fche 
kingdom  of  Granada  from  fche  tyranny  of  the  Saracens 
in  our  days,  with  suoh  glory  fco  fche  divine  name,  testifies; 
we  are  induced,  not  unworthily,  and  we  ought,  fco  grant 
fco  you  those  things  favorably  and  spontaneously  by  which 
you  ni.iv  be  able  fco  proseoute  this  undertaking,  so  holy 
and  praises  orthy  fco  the  immortal  God,  and  that  .you  may 
daily  Lnorease  more  and  more  in  fervor  Eor  fche  honor  of 
God  and  fche  propagation  of  fche  kingdom  of  Christ. 

We  have  heard  fco  our  great  joy  fchal  yon  have  pro |>oscd 
fco  Labor  and  use  every  exertion,  that  the  inhabitants  <>f 
oertain  islands  and  continents  remote,  and  hitherto  un- 
known, and  of  others  yet  undiscovered,  bereduoed  i<> 
worship  our  Redeemer  and  profess  the  Catholic  faith, 
Till  now  yon  have  been  fully  occupied  in  ihe  oonquest 
and  oapture  of  Granada,  and  oould  not  accomplish  your 
holy  and  praiseworthy  desires  nor  obtain  the  results  yon 
wished.  You  sent,  uot  without  the  greatest  exertionB, 
dangers,  and  expense,  our  beloved  sou   Christopher 

Colon,  a  man  of  worth  and  much  to    lie   commended,  fit 

for  suoh  business,  with  vessels  and  oargoes,  diligently 
i  .ire  1 1  for  continents  and  remote  ami  unknown  islands 
on  a  sea  hitherto  never  navigated;  \\  In »  finally,  with  fche 
divine  assistance  and  great  diligenoe,  uavigated  the  vast 
ooean,  and  discovered  certain  most,  distant,  islands  and 

OOntinentS    which    were     previously    unknown,  in    which 


very  many  nations  dwell  peaceably,  and,  as  it  is  said,  go 
naked  and  abstain  from  animal  food,  and,  as  far  as  your 
ambassadors  can  conjecture,  believe  there  is  one  God, 
Creator,  in  heaven,  and  seem  sufficiently  apt  to  embrace 
the  Catholic  faith, and  might  be  imbued  with  good  morals, 
and  have  every  reason  to  believe  that,  if  instructed,  the 
name  of  our  Lord  and  Savior  Jesus  Christ  may  easily  be 
established  in  the  said  islands  and  continents;  that  in 
these  islands  and  continents  already  have  been  found 
gold,  spices,  and  many  other  articles  of  value  of  differ- 
ent kinds  and  qualities.  Every  thing  being  diligently 
considered,  especially  for  the  exaltation  and  diffusion  of 
of  the  Catholic  faith,  (as  it  behooveth  Catholic  kings 
and  princes,)  according  to  the  custom  of  your  ancestors, 
kings  of  illustrious  memory,  you  have  proposed  to  sub- 
jugate the  aforementioned  islands  and  continents,  with 
their  inhabitants,  to  yourselves,  with  the  assistance  of 
the  divine  goodness,  and  reduce  them  to  the  Catholic 
faith,  and  that  the  said  Christopher  Colon  may  construct 
and  build  a  fortress  on  one  of  the  principal  islands  of 
sufficient  strength  to  protect  certain  Christians  who  may 
emigrate  thither. 

We  therefore  very  much  commend  in  the  Lord  this 
your  holy  and  praiseworthy  intention ;  and  that  you  may 
bring  it  to  the  proper  end,  and  by  it  establish  the  name 
of  our  Lord  in  those  parts,  we  strenuously  exhort  you 
in  the  Lord,  and  by  your  baptism,  by  which  you  are 
obligated  to  the  apostolic  mandates,  and  by  the  bowels 
of  the  mercy  of  our  Lord  Jesus  Christ,  we  earnestly  exact 
of  you,  that,  when  you  undertake  and  assume  an  expedi- 
tion of  this  kind,  you  do  it  with  a  humble  spirit,  and  with 
zeal  for  the  orthodox  faith;  and  you  must  wish,  and 
ought  to  induce  the  people  living  in  those  islands  and 
continents  to  receive  the  Christian  religion;  and  let  no 
dangers,  no  fatigues,  at  any  time  deter  you,  but  entertain 

40  HISTORY    OF    THE 

hope  and  faith  that  Almighty  God  may   crown  your 
efforts  with  happy  success. 

To  enable  you  more  freely  and  more  boldly  to  assume 
the  undertaking  of  such  an  enterprise,  by  the  liberality 
of  our  apostolic  favor,  motu  propria,  and  not  at  your 
request,  nor  by  the  presentation  of  any  petition  to  us  on 
this  subject  for  you,  but  of  our  pure  liberality,  and  from 
the  certain  knowledge  and  plenitude  of  apostolic  power, 
we  grant  to  you  and  your  heirs,  and  your  successors, 
kings  of  Castile,  Leon,  &c,  and  by  the  present  letters 
give  forever,  all  the  islands  and  continents  discovered 
and  to  be  discovered,  explored  and  to  be  explored, 
towards  the  west  and  south,  forming  and  drawing  a  line 
from  the  arctic  pole,  that  is  the  north,  to  the  antarctic 
pole,  that  is  the  south,  whether  the  islands  or  continents 
discovered  or  to  be  discovered  lie  towards  India  or 
towards  any  other  part,  which  line  is  distant  from  one 
of  the  islands  vulgarly  called  Azores  y  Cabo  Verde  one 
hundred  leagues  west  and  south;  so  that  all  the  islands 
and  continents  discovered  or  to  be  discovered,  explored 
or  to  be  explored,  beyond  the  aforementioned  line 
towards  the  west  and  south,  not  actually  possessed  by 
other  kirjgs  or  Christian  princes  before  the  day  of  the 
nativity  of  our  Lord  Jesus  Christ  last  past,  from  which 
the  present  year  1493  commences,  when  any  of  the  said 
islands  are  discovered  by  your  emissaries  or  captains, 
we,  by  the  authority  of  Almighty  God,  given  to  us  in 
St.  Peter  as  vicar  of  Jesus  Christ,  which  authority  we 
exercise  on  earth,  assign  you  and  your  heirs  and  said 
successors  all  the  dominions  over  those  states,  places 
and  towns,  with  all  rights,  jurisdiction,  and  all  their 
appurtenances,  with  full,  free,  and  all  power,  au- 
thority, and  jurisdiction.  We  make,  constitute  and 
depute,  discerning  nevertheless  by  our  donation,  conces- 
sion and  assignment  of  this  kind,  that  the  rights  cannot 


be  understood  to  be  taken  away  from  any  Christian 
prince  who  actually  possessed  such  islands  or  continents 
before  the  aforementioned  day  of  Christ's  nativity,  nor 
are  to  be  deprived  of  them. 

We  moreover  command  you,  by  virtue  of  holy  obedi- 
ence, (as  you  have  promised,  and  we  doubt  not  from 
your  great  devotion  and  royal  magnanimity  that  you  will 
do  it,)  that  you  send  to  the  said  islands  and  continents 
tried  men,  who  fear  God,  learned  and  skillful,  and 
expert  to  instruct  the  inhabitants  in  the  Catholic  faith 
and  teach  them  good  morals,  using  proper  diligence  in 
the  aforementioned  things,  and  we  forbid  every  one, 
under  pain  of  excommunication  ipso  facto,  no  matter  what 
may  be  his  dignity, — even  imperial,  royal, — state,  order 
or  condition,  to  act  contrary  to  this  our  mandate.  And 
we  severely  forbid  any  one  to  go  to  the  islands  or  con- 
tinents discovered  or  to  be  discovered,  explored  or  to 
be  explored,  towards  the  west  or  south,  beyond  the  line 
drawn  from  the  arctic  to  the  antarctic  pole,  one  hundred 
leagues  from  one  of  the  islands  commonly  called  Azores 
y  Cabo  Yerde,  towards  the  west  and  south;  and  let  no 
one,  for  trade  or  any  other  reason,  presume  to  approach 
without  your  special  license,  or  that  of  your  heirs  and 
successors  aforementioned,  notwithstanding  constitu- 
tions or  apostolic  ordinances,  or  any  thing  contrary  to  it. 
Trusting  God,  from  whom  empires  and  dominations,  and 
all  good  things  proceed,  will  direct  your  actions  if  you 
prosecute  this  holy  and  praiseworthy  object — hoping 
that  shortly  your  labors  and  efforts  may  obtain  a  most 
happy  termination,  and  redound  to  the  glory  of  all 
Christian  people. 

Given  at  Rome,  at  St.  Peter's,  in  the  year  of  our  Lord's 
incarnation  1493,  9th  of  May,  and  first  year  of  our  pon- 


42  HISTORY    OF    THE 

Few  Papal  documents  have  ever  excited  such 
unfavorable  comment  as  this.  Non-Catholic  writ- 
ers generally  point  to  it  as  an  evidence  of  the 
extravagant  and  unjustifiable  pretensions  of  the 
head  of  the  Catholic  Church,  in  seeking  to  dispose 
of  kingdoms  and  countries  at  pleasure.  It  must, 
indeed,  be  admitted  that  the  terms  of  the  Bull, 
taken  without  an  explanatory  clause,  admit  of 
such  an  unfavorable  interpretation.  The  Catholic 
Church,  however,  has  ever  disclaimed  for  herself 
such  a  prerogative;  she  has  never  assumed  the 
right  to  destroy  the  autonomy  of  nations,  Chris- 
tian or  Pagan.  Her  every  grant  and  concession 
has  always  been  interpreted  in  harmony  with  that 
common  principle  of  civil  and  canon  law,  '"'cou- 
cessio  quantumvis  ampla  et  absoluta  sit  verbo, 
debet  intelligi  restricta  ad  terminos  juris  et  sequi." 

All  the  theological  writers,  too,  from  the  time 
of  Alexander  down  to  the  present,  have  unani- 
mously interpreted  the  Bull  in  a  sense  favorable 
to  the  rights  and  independence  of  the  American 
races.  Bellarmin,  one  of  the  greatest  authorities, 
after  referring  to  the  document,  puts  himself  this 
objection :  "At  Alexander  VI.  divisit  orbem  nuper 
inventum  regibus  Hispaniae  et  Lusitaniae.  Re- 
spondio  non:  non  divisit  ad  eum  finem  ut  reges 
illi  proficiscerentur  ad  debellandos  reges  infideles 
novi  orbis  et  eorum  regna  occupanda,  sed  solum 
ut  eos  aclclucerent  fidei  Christianae  predicatores,  et 
protegerent  ac  defenderent  turn  ipsos  predicatores 


turn  Christianos  ab  eis  conversos  et  simul  ut  im- 
pedirent  contentiones  et  bella  principum  Chris- 
tianorum  qui  in  illis  novis  regionibus  negociari 
volebant."     (De  Summo  Pont.,  Lib.  V.,  C.  2.) 

Paul  III.,  in  his  brief  "Pastorale  Officiuni," 
issued  May  22cl,  1537,  forty-four  years  after  the 
occurrence,  explains  the  grant  in  a  similar  sense. 
But  what  is  more  satisfactory  still,  as  showing  the 
sense  in  which  the  Bull  was  intended,  is  another 
almost  similar  document — an  Apostolic  Letter  ad- 
dressed by  the  same  sovereign  Pontiff  to  the  King 
of  Portugal,  in  which  explanatory  clauses  are 
found.  In  this  apostolic  letter,  which  was  of  the 
same  tenor  as  the  Bull,  conferred  the  same  rights 
and  privileges,  and  was  framed  almost  in  the  same 
language,  we  read  the  following  clauses:  "De  civi- 
tatibus,  castris,  etc.  Infidelium,  quae  te  in  Do- 
minum  cognoscere  velle  contigerit,  auctoritate  apos- 
tolica,  etc."  And  again:  "Districtius  inhibentes 
quibuscumque  regibus  ne  se  contra  sic  se  tibi  sub- 
jicere  volentes  quovis  modo  apponere,  etc."  (Ray- 
naldi  Annates .) 

The  Kings  of  Spain,  though  naturally  inclined  to 
extend  their  privileges  as  far  as  possible,  also  un- 
derstood the  grant  in  this  sense,  as  is  clear  from  the 
laws  enacted  at  the  time  for  the  American  colonies, 
a  digest  of  which  has  been  published  under  the 
title  of  "  Recopilacion  cle .  lej^es  de  los  reynos  de 
las  Inclias."  In  this  series,  under  the  heading  "De 
los  Descubrimientos,"  the  following  enactment  oc- 

44  HISTORY    OF    THE 

curs:  'En  estas  y  en  las  demas  poblaciones  la 
Tierra  adentro,  eligan  el  sitio  de  los  que  estuvieren 
vacantes,  y  por  clisposicion  nuestra  se  puedeu  oc- 
cupar  sinperjuicio  de  los  Indios,  y  de  los  Naturales, 
o  con  su  libre  consentimiento." 

The  meaning  of  the  Bull,  " Inter  Cetera,"  was 
not  an  authorization  to  make  war  on  the  Ameri- 
can races,  to  violently  take  possession  of  their 
country  by  force  of  arms  to  the  detriment  of  their 
national  rights,  but  solely  to  bring  them  to  a 
knowledge  of  the  Christian  religion,  and  when  con- 
verted, to  protect  and  defend  them  against  ene- 
mies, as  also  to  prevent  other  sovereigns  of  Eu- 
rope from  trading  with  or  otherwise  enriching, 
themselves  by  a  communication  with  those  peoples. 
If,  in  the  prosecution  of  this  task,  the  Kings  of 
Castile,  and  their  responsible  agents,  exceeded  the 
limits  of  the  grant,  this  is  not  an  offence  to  be 
charged  to  the  account  of  the  Church. 

Nothing,  indeed,  as  several  historians  have  just- 
ly remarked,  could  be  grander  or  more  worthy  of 
the  age  than  that  of  two  powerful  monarchs  thus 
submitting  their  differences  to  the  arbitration  of 
the  common  Father  of  the  Faithful.  If  only  such 
a  mode  of  settling  disputes  and  determining  rights 
had  been  continued  during  subsequent  ages,  how 
many  deplorable  wars  would  have  been  avoided; 
how  much  bloodshed  would  have  been  spared; 
how  many  rights  preserved. 



The  Spaniards  in  Florida. — Arrival  of  Naevaez'  Forces. — Their 
Adventures  and  Misfortunes. — Most  of  them  Die.  —  Four 
Make  their  Wat  across  the  Country  to  the  Pacific  — The 
Miracles  they  Performed.  —  Their  Arrival  in  Mexico. 

While  Cortes  was  engaged  in  the  conquest  of 
Mexico,  and  his  discoveries  in  the  southern  ocean, 
the  interests  of  Spain  were  suffering  severely  in 
another  part  of  the  country.  From  1512  to  1542 
a  series  of  disasters  attended  the  arms  of  the  Span- 
ish commanders  in  the  valley  of  the  Mississippi.1 
Most  of  the  forces  of  Leon,  Cordova,  and  Avllan 
perished  in  the  war  with  the  natives.  Of  the  three 
hundred  Spaniards  who  landed  in  Florida  in  1527, 
under  the  command  of  Narvaez,  three  only:  Cabepa 
de  Vaca,  Castillo,  and  Durantes  remained  to  tell 
the  tale  of  the  disaster.  These,  with  Estavanico, 
a  negro  who  happened  to  be  of  the  party,  after 
wandering  for  an  entire  decade  among  the  savages 
of  the  country,  arrived  at  Culiacan,  on  the  shores 
of  the  Pacific,  the  ver}r  year  that  Cortes  landed  in 
California.  The  hardship^  and  privations  they  en- 
dured had  so  altered  them  in  manner  and  appear- 
ance, that  they  were  known  only  as  Spaniards  by 
their  language.      The   accounts   they  gave  their 

(1)  See  Catholic  Church  in  the  United  States,  p.  13. 

46  HISTORY    OF    THE 

brethren  in  Mexico  of  their  singular  adventures, 
and  the  miracles  which  the  Almighty  had  been 
pleased  to  work  at  their  hands  in  behalf  of  the  na- 
tives, excited  the  wonder  and  admiration  of  all. 
A  summary  of  these  wonders,  it  is  thought,  will 
not  be  uninteresting  to  the  reader. 

On  the  seventeenth  June,  1527,  a  Spanish  fleet 
of  five  vessels,  with  six  hundred  men  and  forty 
horse,  under  the  command  of  Pamphilo  de  Nar- 
vaez,  sailed  from  old  Spain,  with  the  view  of  con- 
quering and  colonizing  a  portion  of  the  Atlantic 
coast,  from  the  extremity  of  Florida  to  what  was 
then  known  as  the  river  Palmas.  The  expedition 
was  accompanied  by  four  Franciscans,  who,  like 
most  of  their  companions,  perished  in  the  unfor- 
tunate attempt.  After  experiencing  considerable 
difficulty  and  danger  at  sea,  especially  at  the  island 
of  Trinadad,  where  in  a  storm  they  lost  sixty  of 
their  companions  and  twenty  of  the  horse,  they 
ultimately  arrived  at  their  destination,  on  the 
morning  of  Holy  Thursday  of  the  year  1528. 

The  following  day,  after  disembarking  the 
greater  part  of  the  men,  they  took  formal  posses- 
sion of  the  country  in  the  name  of  his  Majesty,  a 
circumstance  always  observed  in  those  days  by 
the  Spaniards  before  making  a  settlement. 

Their  arrival  on  the  coast,  instead  of  being  as 
they  expected  the  end  of  their  difficulties,  was 
only  the  commencement  of  their  misfortunes. 
From  some  unaccountable  cause — culpable    inat- 


tention,  it  would  appear,  on  the  part  of  the  proper 
authorities  in  laying  in  the  necessary  stores — their 
stock  of  provisions  was  all  but  exhausted.  The 
impossibility  of  obtaining  another  supply  on  the 
coast,  rendered  it  necessary,  in  order  to  avoid  a 
miserable  end,  to  make  for  some  near  and  populous 
native  possession.  By  signs,  they  were  led  to  be- 
lieve, by  the  natives,  that  at  a  place  called  Apa- 
lache,  some  distance  in  the  interior,  there  was  an 
abundance  of  all  they  required.  Trusting  to  the 
truth  of  the  statement,  and  encouraged  moreover 
with  the  hope  of  the  riches  they  were  induced  to 
believe  they  would  find  in  the  place,  the  greater 
part  of  the  expeditionary  force,  three  hundred 
men  and  forty  horse,  set  out  for  the  country  of 
the  Apalaches,  the  remainder  being  left  in  charge 
of  the  vessels,  with  instructions  to  steer  a  little  in 
advance,  and  there  await  the  arrival  of  their  com- 

The  expeditionary  party  was  but  poorly  pro- 
vided for  the  journey — only  having  two  and  a 
half  pounds  of  provisions  for  each  man.  After 
traveling  continuously  for  fifteen  days,  living  as 
best  they  could  on  the  little  sustenance  afforded 
them  by  nature,  they  finally  arrived  at  the  place 
they  had  sought,  but  only  to  find  it  a  miserable 
village  of  two  score,  or  more,  insignificant  huts. 
Instead  of  the  abundant  supply  of  provisions,  the 
gold,  silver  and  valuables  in  which  they  were  led 
to  expect  the  place  did  abound,  they  found,  on 

48  .       HISTORY    OF    THE 

the  contrary,  only  a  limited  quantity  of  maize,  a 
few  dozen  deerskins,  and  some  mantlets  of 
thread.  Thus  disappointed,  and  suffering  severely 
from  want,  they  directed  their  course  to  the  sea, 
with  the  view  of  being  able  to  fall  in  with  the  ves- 
sels. In  this,  however,  they  were  again  subject  to 
disappointment,  for  on  reaching  the  shore  no  ves- 
sel was  to  be  seen.  Either  they  had  gone  on  in 
advance,  or  had  met  with  some  accident  and  were 
unable  to  arrive. 

In  this  critical  position,  destitute  of  all  means  of 
support,  save  the  roots,  berries  and  vermin  on 
which  the  natives  were  accustomed  to  live,  only 
one  possible  means  seemed  left  to  them  of  rescu- 
ing themselves  from  a  most  miserable  death.  It 
was  to  construct  a  few  little  barks,  and  coast  along 
the  shore  till  they  fell  in  with  their  former  com- 
panions, or  arrived  at  a  more  hospitable  port.  For 
the  accomplishment  of  this,  however,  implements 
and  appliances  were  needed,  of  which  they  were 
utterly  destitute.  They  had  none  of  the  conve- 
niences necessary  for  building  a  vessel.  Hatchets, 
saws,  nails,  hammers,  ropes,  sails  and  caulking, 
were  all  alike  equally  wanting  to  them.  All  they 
possessed  were  their  clothes,  their  muskets,  and 
the  trappings  of  the  horses.  How  to  construct  with 
these  a  sea-going  craft,  capable  of  affording 
accommodation  to  over  two  hundred  persons,  was 
a  problem  which,  under  more  favorable  circum- 
stances, would   have  presented  insuperable  diffi- 


cult}r.  Even  in  the  extremity  to  which  they  were 
reduced,  the  work  was  at  first  regarded  impossible. 
But  when  life  is  depending  on  individual  energy, 
the  powers  of  the  mind  are  marvelously  active. 
There  is  an  aphorism:  "  Necessity  is  the  mother 
of  invention."  It  was  so  in  this  individual  in- 

One  of  the  company,  more  ingenious  than  his 
companions,  by  constructing  a  bellows  from  a  deer- 
skin and  some  pieces  of  wood,  struck  at  the  root 
of  the  difficulty.  A  gleam  of  hope  now  shone 
over  all ;  a  passage  from  the  valley  of  death  was 
then  clearly  to  be  seen.  The  bellows  at  work, 
axes,  saws  and  hammers  were  quickly  made  out 
of  the  nails,  spurs,  stirrups  and  saddle-bows  of  the 
cavalry  !  The  fibres  of  the  palmetto  supplied  ex- 
cellent tow  for  caulking;  the  pitching  was  done 
with  a  certain  resin  which  exuded  from  the  trees 
in  the  locality.  The  manes  and  tails  of  the  horses 
were  found  to  answer  remarkably  the  purpose  of 
ropes  and  rigging,  while,  from  out  the  shirts  of  the 
company,  tolerably  respectable  sails  were  effected  ! 

Sixteen  days  were  thus  spent  in  forming  five 
little  craft,  each  capable  of  affording  accommoda- 
tion to  about  fifty  of  the  number.  The  work  had 
to  be  hurried  on  as  rapidly  as  possible,  for  even 
the  horseflesh,  on  which  they  mainly  relied  for 
support,  was  well  nigh  exhausted.  In  fine,  on  the 
27th  of  September,  1528,  the  entire  number,  con- 
sisting of  two  hundred  and  forty-two  persons,  the 

50  HISTORY   OF    THE 

remainder  having  died  from  hunger  and  exhaus- 
tion, put  to  sea  in  the  wretched  little  vessels,  got- 
ten up  in  the  manner  described.  Whither  they 
were  to  proceed,  to  what  port  they  were  to  steer, 
where  to  seek  aid  and  release  from  their  miseries, 
they  were  entirely  unconscious  of.  One  thing 
only  was  certain ;  that  to  avoid  a  most  certain  and 
inevitable  death,  it  was  necessary  to  betake  them- 
selves somewhere.  Even  the  chances  of  escaping 
the  perils  of  the  deep,  in  the  frailest  of  barks, 
while  struggling  for  life,  was  better  and  more  pref- 
erable than  perishing  helplessly  from  starvation, 
on  shore. 

For  several  days,  they  coasted  cautiously  in  a 
southern  direction,  constantly  exposed  to  the  dan- 
ger of  being  swamped  by  the  sea,  of  being  at- 
tacked by  the  natives  from  land,  and  suffering  not 
a  little,  meanwhile,  from  the  inclemency  of  the 
season,  and  the  want  of  the  necessary  supplies. 
Finally,  they  arrived  at  an  island,  which  they  sub- 
sequently styled  the  Island  of  Malhado,  or  Mis- 
fortune, a  name  sufficiently  indicative  of  the  suffer- 
ings they  must  have  endured  on  it.  There,  the 
greater  number  of  the  company,  worn  out  by  hun- 
ger, fatigue  and  exposure,  ended  their  misfortunes 
in  death.  The  relation  given  of  their  terrible  pri- 
vations, at  this  stage  of  their  adventures,  by  one 
of  the  survivors,  is  touching  and  painful  in  the 
extreme.  Deprived  of  every  other  means  of  sup- 
port, they  were  compelled  to  feed  on  the  bodies 


of  their  departed  companions,  taking  even  the  pre- 
cautionary measure  of  smoking  and  drying  the 
flesh,  in  order  to  preserve  it  for  subsequent  use. 
But  even  this  repulsive  and  unnatural  means  of 
support  was  necessarily  limited.  In  one  instance, 
a  number  of  the  ill-fated  men  lived  in  this  fashion, 
the  survivors  feeding  on  the  flesh  of  the  departed, 
each  prolonging  his  existence  as  far  as  was  possi- 
ble, until,  in  the  end,  only  one  had  remained  ! 

The  greater  number  shortly  succumbed  to  their 
terrible  sufferings;  a  few  only  held  out  for  some 
months;  but  even  the  majority  of  these  eventually 
sank  under  their  trials,  when  there  only  remained 
those  of  whom  we  are  speaking;  and  who  event-, 
ually  succeeded  in  crossing  the  continent,  and 
joining  their  brethren  on  the  Pacific,  thereby  ac- 
complishing the  most  remarkable  journey  on 
record  in  the  annals  of  this  country.  The  names 
of  the  four  were  those  we  have  mentioned  at  the 
commencement  of  the  chapter. 

For  six  years  they  remained  in  the  capacity  of 
slaves,  employed  by  the  natives  in  searching  for 
roots,  shell  fish  and  berries.  Their  condition  was 
indeed  a  most  trying  and  deplorable  one;  for, 
oftentimes,  not  being  able  to  procure  sufficient  to 
satisfy  the  hunger  of  their  masters,  they  were 
subjected  to  the  greatest  indignity  and  punish- 
ment. In  fine,  feeling  that  life,  under  such  a  con- 
dition, was  a  burden  rather  than  a  boon — that 
death  would   be  preferable  to   such  an  existence, 


they  resolved  upon  crossing  the  continent,  or  per- 
ishing in  the  attempt.  Strangers,  indigent,  igno- 
rant alike  of  the  countries  and  peoples  through 
whom  they  should  pass,  not  to  speak  of  the  dis- 
tance and  natural  difficulties  of  the  way,  the  jour- 
ney was  to  them  a  most  arduous  and  perilous  en- 
terprise. But  the  Almighty,  who  is  never  absent 
from  his  servants,  was  present  with  them  in  their 
trials,  shielded  them  from  their  numerous  ene- 
mies, and  safely  conducted  them  from  out  of  their 
bondage.  Like  another  Joseph  in  Egypt,  or  Pat- 
rick in  Ireland,  the  mercies  of  the  Lord  were  ever 
upon  them.  What  facilitated  their  journey,  or 
rather  what  opened  them  a  passage  at  all  from  the 
country,  were  the  numerous  marvelous  works 
which  the  Almighty  was  pleased  to  effect  at  their 
hands,  in  favor  of  the  Gentiles.  It  is  true,  there 
is  no  other  proof  of  the  truth  of  these  wonders, 
than  the  statement  of  the  parties  themselves. 
The  relation,  however,  is  made  in  so  modest  and, 
apparently,  trustworthy  a  manner,  that  it  would  be 
both  rash  and  unreasonable  to  withhold  our  assent, 
especially  as  their  statements  in  other  respects,  re- 
garding the  customs  and  habits  of  the  people,  have 
since  been  shown  to  be  true.1  Moreover,  there  is 
hardly  any  other  plausible  way  of  accounting  for 
their  safety  and  deliverance,  seeing  that  they  had 
to  pass  through  so  many  and  such  barbarous 
tribes,  noted  for  their  cruelty  and  hostility  to 

(1)     See  notes  to  Smith's  Translation  of  Cabeca  de  Vaca. 


The  circumstance  under  which  the  Almighty 
was  first  pleased  to  work  cures  at  their  hands,  is 
thus  simply  and  unassumingly  narrated  by  the 
leader  of  the  party:  "In  the  island  of  which  I 
have  spoken  (Malhado),  they  wished  to  make  us 
physicians,  without  examination,  or  inquiring  for 
our  diplomas.  They  cure  by  blowing  upon  the 
sick;  and  by  the  breath  and  the  imposing  of  hands 
they  cast  out  infirmity.  They  ordered  us  that  we 
should  do  this  likewise,  and  be  of  use  to  them  in 
something.  We  laughed  at  what  they  did,  telling 
them  that  it  was  folly,  and  that  we  knew  not  how 
to  heal.  In  consequence,  they  withheld  food  from 
us,  until  we  should  do  what  they  required.  See- 
ing our  persistence,  an  Indian  said  to  me  that  I 
knew  not  what  I  uttered  in  saying  that  that  prof- 
ited nothing  which  he  knew,  for  that  the  stones 
and  other  things  which  grow  in  the  fields,  have 
virtue,  and  that  he,  by  passing  a  hot  stone  along 
the  stomach,  took  away  pain,  and  restored  health, 
and  that  we,  who  were  extraordinary  men,  must, 
of  all  others,  possess  the  greatest  power  and  effi- 
cacy. At  last,  we  found  ourselves  in  so  great 
want,  that  we  were  obliged  to  obey;  but,  however, 
not  without  fear  that  we  should  be  blamed  for  any 
failure  of  success. 

"The  custom  is,  on  finding  themselves  sick,  to 
send  for  a  physician,  and  after  the  cure,  they  give 
him  not  only  all  that  they  have,  but  they  seek 
among  their  relatives  for  more  to  give.      The  prac- 


titioner  scarifies  over  the  seat  of  pain,  and  then 
sucks  about  the  wounds.  They  make  cauteries 
with  fire,  which  is  a  remedy  among  them  in  high 
repute;  and  I  have  tried  it  on  myself,  and  been 
benefited  by  it.  They  afterwards  blow  on  the 
spot  that  is  scarified,  and  having  finished,  the  pa- 
tient believes  that  he  is  relieved. 

"The  method  that  we  practiced,  was  to  bless  the 
sick,  breathe  upon  them,  and  recite  a  Pater-noster 
and  an  Ave  Maria,  praying  with  all  earnestness  to 
God,  our  Lord,  that  he  would  give  them  health, 
and  influence  them  to  do  us  some  great  good.  In 
his  mercy,  he  willed  that  all  those  for  whom  we 
supplicated,  should,  directly  after  we  made  the. 
sign  of  the  blessed  Cross  over  them,  tell  the  others 
that  they  were  sound  in  health !  For  this,  the 
Indians  treated  us  kindly;  they  deprived  them- 
selves of  food,  that  they  might  give  to  us,  and 
they  presented  us  with  some  skins  and  some  tri- 
fles." x  The  next  instance  of  this  kind,  of  which 
the  writer  makes  mention,  was  after  they  had 
crossed  to  the  main  land,  and  effected  their  es- 
cape. Two  days  after  they  fled  from  their  mas- 
ters, they  arrived  at  a  village,  where  they  were  re- 
ceived by  the  natives  with  every  demonstration  of 
joy,  because  of  the  account  of  their  works  having 
already  preceded  them.  "  That  same  night  of  our 
arrival,"  continues  the  narrator,  "  there  came 
some  Indians  to  Castillo,  and  told  him  that  they 

(1)     Narrative  of  Alvar  Nunez  Cabeca  de  Vaca:  Translated  by  Buck- 
ingham Smith;  pp.  51-52. 


had  great  pain  in  the  head,  begging  him  to  cure 
them.  After  he  had  made  over  them  the  sign  of 
the  Cross,  and  commended  them  to  God,  instantly 
they  said  that  all  the  pain  had  left;  and  they  went 
to  their  houses,  and  brought  us  many  pears  and  a 
piece  of  venison,  a  thing  to  us  little  known.  As 
the  report  of  his  performance  spread,  there  came 
many  others  to  us  that  night,  sick,  that  we  should 
heal  them;  and  each  brought  with  him  a  piece  of 
venison;  until  the  quantity  was  so  great  we  knew 
not  where  to  dispose  of  it.  We  gave  many  thanks 
to  God,  for  every  day  went  on  increasing  his  com- 
passion and  his  gifts.  After  the  sick  were  attended 
to,  they  began  to  dance  and  enact  their  ceremonial 
rejoicing,  until  the  morning,  at  sunrise;  and  be- 
cause of  our  arrival,  their  festivities  were  continued 
for  three  days."1 

The  fame  of  the  Christians  was  now  fully  estab- 
lished; nothing  was  spoken  of  in  the  country  but 
the  marvelous  cures  they  had  so  readily  effected, 
and  the  wonders  they  were  capable  of  doing.  Re- 
port had  even  magnified,  rather  than  diminished, 
the  greatness  of  the  works  which  the  Almighty 
was  pleased  to  work  at  their  hands.  In  conse- 
quence, crowds  of  the  natives  were  attracted  to 
their  presence  from  every  quarter,  some  to  look 
upon  such  remarkable  beings,  some  to  obtain  their 
benediction,  and  not  a  few  to  solicit  a  cure  for 
their  infirmities.     The  faith  and  confidence  of  the 

(V     Narrative  of  Cabeca  de  Vaca;  p.  70. 

56  HISTORY   OF    THE 

people  increased  to  such  a  degree  that  they  be- 
lieved them  even  capable  of  raising  the  dead  to 
life.  And  there  are  even  grounds  for  supposing 
that  the  Lord  did  bestow  upon  them  such  a  mar- 
velous grace.  Amongst  others  to  whom  they  were 
called  to  administer,  was  one  who  was  said  to  be 
in  the  agonies  of  death.  The  account  of  the  trans- 
action is  best  given  in  the  words  of  the  performer 
himself:  "At  the  end  of  the  second  day  after  our 
arrival,  there  came  to  us  some,  of  the  Lusolas,  and 
besought  Castillo  that  he  would  go  to  cure  one 
wounded  and  others  sick:  and  they  said  that 
among  them  there  was  one  very  near  his  end. 
Castillo  was  a  timid  practitioner,  and  chiefly  so  in 
the  cases  most  fearful  and  dangerous;  for  he  be- 
lieved that  his  sins  must  weigh  upon  him,  and  at 
some  time  hinder  him  from  performing  cures.  The 
Indians  told  me  to  go  and  heal  them,  for  they  liked 
me  well,  and  remembered  that  I  had  ministered  to 
them  in  the  walnut  grove,  for  which  they  had 
given  us  nuts  and  skins,  and  it  occurred  when  I 
first  joined  the  Christians.  So  I  had  to  go  with 
them,  and  Dorantes  accompanied  me  with  Estava- 
nico.  When  I  came  near  their  huts,  I  perceived 
that  the  sick  man  we  went  to  heal  was  dead;  for 
there  were  many  persons  around  him  weeping, 
and  his  house  was  prostrate,  which  is  a  sign  that 
the  one  who  dwelt  in  it  is  dead.  When  I  arrived 
I  found  the  eyes  of  the  Indian  rolled  up,  he  was 
without  pulse,  and  having  all  the  appearances  of 


death,  as  they  seemed  to  me,  and  as  Dorantes  said. 
I  removed  the  mat  with  which  he  was  covered, 
and  I  supplicated  our  Lord  as  fervently  as  I  could 
that  he  might  be  pleased  to  give  health  to  him, 
and  to  all  the  rest  who  might  have  need  of  it. 
After  he  had  been  blessed  and  breathen  upon 
many  times,  they  brought  me  his  bow  and  gave  me 
a  basket  of  pounded  pears. 

"  They  took  me  to  cure  many  others  who  were 
sick  of  a  stupor,  and  they  presented  me  with  two 
more  baskets  of  pears,  which  I  gave  to  the  Indians 
who  had  accompanied  us.  We  then  went  back  to 
our  lodgings.  Those  to  whom  we  gave  the  pears 
tarried,  and  returned  to  their  houses  at  night,  and 
reported  that  he  who  had  been  dead,  and  for  whom 
I  had  wrought  before  them,  had  got  up  hale,  and 
had  walked  and  eaten  and  spoken  with  them,  and 
that  all  to  whom  I  had  ministered  were  well  and 
very  merry.  This  caused  great  wonder  and  fear, 
and  in  all  the  land  they  spoke  of  nothing  else. 
All  those  to  whom  the  fame  of  it  reached,  came  to 
seek  us,  that  we  should  cure  them  and  bless  their 
children."  1 

It  was  here,  while  residing  in  this  particular 
part  of  the  country,  that  they  heard  of  the  follow- 
ing remarkable  circumstance :  Several  years  pre- 
vious to  their  arrival  the  inhabitants  of  the  locality 
were  very  much  tormented  and  alarmed  by  the 
frequent  appearance  among  them  of  an  apparently 

(1)     Be  Vaca;  p.  73. 

58  HISTORY    OF   THE 

preternatural  being,  who,  on  account  of  his.  char- 
acter and  conduct,  they  unanimously  denominated 
by  the  name  of  "the  evil  one."  He  invariably 
appeared  at  their  doors  and  entered  their  dwell- 
ings with  a  torch  in  his  hands,  and  though  to  ap- 
pearance in  the  shape  of  a  man,  they  were  never 
able  to  catch  a  glimpse  of  his  features.  His  con- 
duct was  as  strange  and  mysterious  as  his  appear- 
ance was  alarming,  for,  after  inflicting  upon  them 
terrible  wounds,  he  would  presently  heal  them  by 
the  mere  effect  of  his  touch.  When  asked  whence 
he  had  come  and  where  he  abode,  he  replied 
by  pointing  to  a  fissure  in  the  earth,  saying  that 
there  was  his  home.  A  full  and  accurate  account 
of  this  remarkable  circumstance  may  be  seen  in 
the  work  of  De  Yaca. 

The  fear  that  had  previously  possessed  the  ad- 
venturers of  not  being  able  to  pass  unmolested 
through  so  many  and  such  barbarous  tribes,  was 
now  entirely  removed.  So  far  from  offering  any 
violence  to  their  persons,  the  savages,  in  conse- 
quence of  the  works  they  had  wrought,  rather 
contended  for  the  honor  of  offering  them  kindness, 
seeking  in  every  instance  to  retain  them  as  long 
as  was  possible,  being  of  opinion  that  their  pres- 
ence alone  was  sufficient  to  secure  them  an  im- 
munity from  sickness,  and  even  from  death. 
"And  so  great  confidence  had  they  that  they  would 
become  healed  if  we  should  but  administer  to  them, 
that  they  believed  that  whilst  we  remained  there 
none  of  them  could  die." 


The  manner  of  reception  they  met  with  in  the 
different  parts  of  the  country  was  very  different. 
That  which  at  first  was  marked  with  respect  and 
veneration,  coupled  with  love  and  filial  attach- 
ment, was  changed  as  they  advanced,  by  reason  of 
the  report  which  preceded  them,  into  a  species  of 
fear  and  alarm.  Speaking  of  the  conduct  of  the 
inhabitants  at  this  juncture,  the  writer  says:  "  So 
great  was  the  fear  upon  them,  that  during  the  first 
days  they  were  with  us  they  were  continually 
trembling,  without  daring  to  do,  speak  or  raise 
their  eyes  to  the  heavens." 

The  cause  of  this  fear  was  not  so  much  the  won- 
ders they  had  effected,  as  the  firm  and  unshaken 
belief,  on  the  part  of  the  people,  that  the  strangers 
had  come  to  them  from  the  world  above,  and  were 
truly  the  Children  of  the  Sun.  The  influence  thus 
attained  by  the  Christians,  would,  under  more 
favorable  circumstances  have  presented  an  admir- 
able opportunity  for  introducing  the  Christian  re- 
ligion among  these  barbarous  tribes.  As  such  it 
was  regarded  by  the  Christians  themselves,  for 
they  assure  us  that,  had  they  been  able  to  make 
themselves  perfectly  intelligible  to  the  people,  they 
would  easily  have  succeeded  in  bringing  the  entire 
country  to  a  knowledge  of  the  truth.  As  it  was, 
they  gave  them  some  elementary  notions  of  our 
holy  religion,  and  left  with  the  resolve,  that, 
upon  reaching  the  Pacific,  they  would  earnestly 
solicit  the  proper  authorities  to  attend  to  this 

60  HISTORY   OF    THE 

The  customs  observed  by  the  people  in  con- 
ducting the  Christians  from  one  tribe  to  another, 
deserve  the  notice  of  the  reader.  They  were  re- 
markable, not  because  of  the  attention  paid  to  the 
party,  but  rather  on  account  of  the  injuries  inflicted 
on  the  entertainers  by  the  accompanying  escort. 
Thus,  when  starting  from  any  particular  locality, 
they  were  accompanied  by  a  large  number  of  the 
inhabitants  who  conducted  them  to  the  neighbor- 
ing tribe,  whither  they  were  hastening,  and  as  the 
latter  were  supposed,  in  conformity  with  the  cus- 
tom of  the  country,  to  place  everything  at  the  dis- 
posal of  the  strangers,  the  people  who  formed  the 
escort,  immediately  on  arriving,  set  to  plundering 
everything  that  came  in  their  way.  At  first  this 
was  most  painful  and  disagreeable  to  the  Chris- 
tians, but  as  it  was  the  general  usage,  and  as  the 
plundered  were  sure  to  become  plunderers  in  turn, 
and  thereby  to  indemnify  themselves  for  the  losses 
sustained,  the  barbarous  usage  had  to  be  tolerated 
as  sanctioned  by  custom.  Its  application  in  a 
particular  instance  is  thus  briefly  alluded  to  in  the 
work  before  named:  "  We  walked  till  sunset,  and 
arrived  at  a  town  of  some  twenty  houses,  where 
we  were  received,  weeping  and  in  great  sorrow; 
for  they  already  knew  that  wheresoever  we  should 
come,  all  would  be  pillaged  and  spoiled  by  those 
who  accompanied  us.  When  they  saw  that  we 
were  alone,  they  lost  their  fear,  and  gave  us  pears, 
but  nothing  else.     We  remained  there  that  night, 


and  at  dawn  the  Indians  broke  upon  their  houses. 
As  they  came  upon  the  occupants,  unprepared  and 
in  supposed  security,  having  no  place  in  which  to 
Conceal  anything,  all  they  possessed  was  taken  from 
them,  for  which  they  wept  much.  In  consolation 
the  plunderers  told  them  that  we  were  children  of 
the  sun,  and  that  we  had  power  to  heal  the  sick, 
and  to  destroy ;  and  other  lies,  even  greater  than 
these,  which  none  know  better  than  they  how  to 
tell,  when  they  find  them  convenient.  They  told 
them  to  conduct  us  with  great  respect,  that  they 
should  be  careful  to  offend  us  in  nothing,  and 
should  give  us  all  that  they  might  possess,  and 
endeavor  to  take  us  where  people  are  numerous; 
and  that  wheresoever  they  arrived  with  us  they 
should  rob  and  pillage  the  people  of  what  they 
have,  for  that  it  was  customary."  (See  "Note"  at 
end  of  chapter.) 

After  this  another  custom  prevailed  among  the 
inhabitants  in  the  manner  of  receiving  the  strangers. 
Instead  of  coming  forward  in  great  numbers  and 
receiving  them,  as  at  first,  with  much  joy,  not  un- 
accompanied with  fear  and  alarm,  the  inhabitants 
remained  shut  up  in  their  huts,  apparently  mourn- 
ing and  stricken  with  terror,  their  faces  turned  to 
the  wall,  and  their  property  in  little  heaps  on  the 
floor  for  the  acceptance  of  their  guests. 

No  less  remarkable  were  other  peculiarities  ob- 
served by  the  people  in  relation  to  each  other. 
Among  others,  on  the  Atlantic  coast,  was  that  of 

62  HISTORY    OF    THE 

mourning  for  the  dead  during  the  entire  space  •  of 
a  year.  Three  times  a  day,  morning,  noon  and 
night,  they  gave  expression  to  their  sorrow  in 
wailing  and  lamentations,  but  only  in  case  of  the 
young.  At  the  end  of  that  period,  the  obsequies 
were  performed,  which,  in  some  instances,  con- 
sisted in  burying,  and  in  others  in  burning  the 
remains.  When  burned,  the  ashes  were  presented 
in  water  to  the  relatives  to  be  drunk.  Should 
the  deceased  happen  to  be  brother  or  son,  those  in 
whose  house  he  departed,  abstained  for  a  period 
of  three  months  from  seeking  the  ordinary  means 
of  support.  Sooner  would  they  perish  of  want 
than  violate  this  singular  usage,  unless  the 
friends  and  relations  supplied  them  with  food. 
And  so,  in  time  of  public  calamity,  when  several 
fell  victims  to  the  prevailing  disease,  the  sufferings 
among  the  living  were  frequently  unusually  great. 
Among  the  Yequages,  and  some  other  neighbor- 
ing tribes,  a  most  horrible  practice  of  female  in- 
fanticide was  universally  practised.  The  reason 
they  assigned  for  this  most  revolting  and  unnatural 
custom,  was  to  avoid  increasing  the  number  of  their 
enemies.  For,  as  they  did  not  consider  it  proper 
to  enter  into  marriage  with  any  of  their  own  par- 
ticular tribe,  because  of  the  family  relations  exist- 
ing between  them,  and  being  at  enmity  with  all 
the  neighboring  people,  to  marry  their  daughters 
under  such  circumstances  would  only  be,  in  their 
opinion,  to  add  to  the  number  of  their  foes,  they 


deemed  it  the  best  and  most  advisable  course  to 
settle  the  matter  in  the  manner  described.  As 
regarded  themselves,  they  always  purchased  their 
women  from  the  neighboring  Indians,  for  though 
ever  at  war,  they  were  ready  to  trade  in  this  mat- 
ter. The  ordinary  price  for  a  wife  was  a  bow 
and  a  couple  of  arrows  ! 

The  marriage  relation  was  not  of  any  longer 
continuance  than  the  parties  desired;  they  sepa- 
rated on  the  slightest  pretence,  and  attached  them- 
selves to  others  whenever  they  pleased.  The 
women  ordinarily  nursed  their  children  till  the 
age  of  ten  or  twelve  years,  when  they  were  able 
to  provide  for  themselves.  Many  other  customs 
and  observances  are  referred  to  by  the  writer, 
which   it  would  be   only  tedious  to  recount. 

In  fine,  favored  by  the  Almighty  in  the  most  re- 
markable manner  referred  to  above*,  shielded  from  a 
thousand  dangers  and  difficulties,  the  four  Chris- 
tians of  whom  we  are  speaking,  passed  through  the 
whole  of  the  American  continent,  from  Florida  to 
California,  thereby  accomplishing  one  of  the  most 
remarkable  journeys  on  record  in  the  annals  of 
this  nation. 

Note. — There  are  several  reasons  to  believe  that  the  miracles  recorded 
byCabec^a  de  Vaca,  as  having  been  performed  by  him  and  his  fellow- 
companions,  were  really  effected.  The  simple  and  unostentatious  man- 
ner in  which,  as  we  have  said,  the  entire  narrative  is  told,  is  very  much 
in  its  favor.  On  any  other  principle,  save  the  special  interposition  of 
Heaven,  it  would  be  exceedingly  difficult  to  account  for  their  safety. 
Not  to  speak  of  the  many  and  extraordinary  physical  difficulties  they 
must  have  encountered  on  the  journey,  from  hunger,  cold  and  fatigue, 

64  HISTORY   OF    THE 

it  is  hardly  possible  to  suppose  that  some  or  other  of  the  numerous 
hostile  tribes  through  which  they  passed,  would  not  have  detained  them 
as  slaves,  like  those  among  whom  they  first  happened  to  fall,  or  have 
deprived  them  of  life,  as  strangers  and  enemies,  unless  they  had  beheld 
at  their  hands  some  great  and  remarkable  deeds. 

One  of  the  strongest  and  most  satisfactory  proofs,  of  the  truth  of  their 
assertion,  is  the  fact,  that  forty-five  years  later,  when  Antonio  de  Es- 
pejo,  in  command  of  a  military  expedition,  passed  through  a  part  of 
the  country  traversed  by  the  Christians,  he  found,  even  then,  a  most 
vivid  recollection  existing  in  the  minds  of  the  people,  of  having  been 
prayed  over  and  blessed  by  De  Vaca  and  his  companions.  And  so  im- 
pressed were  the  natives  with  the  importance  thereof,  that  on  that  par- 
ticular occasion,  they  came  to  the  Religious  who  accompanied  the  ex- 
pedition, in  order  to  receive  their  benediction,  a  thing  they  certainly 
would  hardly  have  done,  had  they  not,  in  the  first  instance,  witnessed 
some  remarkable  results  following  therefrom.  Furthermore,  were  we 
only  accurately  informed  of  all  that  transpired  on  the  occasion  be- 
tween Espejo  and  the  natives,  it  is  probable  we  might  learn  also  of 
their  having  spoken  of  the  miracles  performed;  but  as  Hakluyt,  on 
whose  authority  we  make  this  assertion,  was  only  proving  the  truth 
of  the  adventure,  it  was  not  in  his  way,  nor,  indeed,  did  he  care  to  go 
into  details  on  a  matter  not  immediately  appertaining  to  his  subject. 

Again,  on  arriving  in  Spain,  De  Vaca  published  an  account  of  the 
wonders,  a  thing  he  would  hardly  have  done,  if  the  statements  were 
false,  as  he  would  be  liable  to  be  exposed  by  his  fellow-companions. 
Inasmuch,  too,  as  he  urged  in  his  work  the  importance  and  advantage 
of  reclaiming  and  christianizing  the  peoples  he  spoke  of,  we  have 
herein  an  additional  proof  for  the  truth  of  his  statement;  for  he  must 
have  been  aware  that  if  missionaries  were  sent,  they  would  immediately 
have  learned  whether  the  works  were  really  effected  or  not.  When,  in 
addition,  we  take  into  account  the  important  consideration  that  his  de- 
scription of  the  habits  and  customs  of  the  natives  on  the  Atlantic  bor- 
der coincides  with  that  of  De  Bry,  the  first  writer  after  his  time,  we 
have  then  reasonable  grounds  to  believe  in  the  truth  of  the  narrative. 



Father  de  Niza  makes  a  tour  through  Sonora,  and  reports  favor- 
JUGATE it. — Disappointment. — Massacre  of  Father  Padillo  and 
brother  John  of  the  Cross  at  Tigue. — Cabrillo's  Expedition  to 
California. — Oxenham,  Drake  and  Cavendish  appear  on  the 
coast. — Supposed  discovery  of  a  Northeast  Passage. — Spain  pre- 
pares to  defend  the  coast. — First  Religious  who  visit  Califor- 

The  feeling  of  surprise  created  by  the  accounts 
related  in  the  preceding  chapter,  was  further  in- 
creased by  the  following  circumstances:  In  1538 
the  year  after  the  party  arrived  in  their  country, 
Marcus  de  Niza,  a  Franciscan,  having  heard  from 
a  lay-brother  of  his  order  most  favorable  accounts 
of  the  valley  of  Sonora  and  its  inhabitants,  resolved 
to  preach  the  gospel  in  person  to  those  tribes. 
How  far  he  proceeded  on  his  charitable  mission  is 
unknown,  but  as  he  employed  several  months  in 
the  work,  it  is  to  be  presumed  he  advanced  a  con- 
siderable distance.  On  his  return  he  gave  the 
most  flattering  description  of  the  country,  repre- 
senting the  soil  as  rich  and  fertile,  affording  an 
abundant  supply  of  grain  and  fruit,  while  the 
mountains  abounded  in  rich  and  precious  ores. 
He  further  added,  that  lie  was  informed  of  the 
existence  of  several  important  towns  of  civilized 
natives  farther  to  the  north,  and  of  one  in  par- 
ticular, called  Quivira,  whose  houses  were  seven 

stories  high  and  celebrated  all  over  that  region. 


The  missionary's  account,  as  may  be  imagined, 
threw  all  Mexico  into  a  ferment  ;  so  great  was 
the  excitement  that  nothing  was  talked  of  in  the 
city  but  the  prospect  of  conquering  a  province  as 
remarkable  as  that  which  had  made  Cortes  so 
famous  in  history.  The  general  opinion,  too,  re- 
garding the  riches  of  the  Indies,  of  which  so  much 
was  then  spoken,  as  well  as  the  recent  discoveries 
in  Peru  and  New  Spain,  were  additional  motives 
in  the  minds  of  the  Spaniards  for  prosecuting  an 
inquiry  into  the  nature  and  character  of  the 
newly-discovered  region.  As  the  matter  was  too 
important  to  be  left  in  abeyance,  the  "Viceroy  and 
Cortes  immediately  resolved  to  attempt  the  sub- 
jugation of  the  country,  but  their  designs  being 
irreconcilable  the  failure  of  the  expedition  was 
the  result.  Both,  in  consequence,  attempted  to  try 
it,  each  on  his  own  responsibility.  The  governor's 
armaments  consisted  of  a  naval  and  a  land  force.  The 
command  of  the  fleet  was  entrusted  to  Francis  deAl- 
arcon,  who  was  commanded  to  steer  along  the  coast 
to  the  thirty-sixth  degree  of  latitude, where  he  should 
await  the  arrival  of  the  land  force.  The  Viceroy, 
himself,  had  resolved  upon  taking  charge  of  the 
second  part  of  the  expedition,  but,  in  consequence 
of  the  distracted  state  of  public  affairs  at  the  time, 
was  necessitated  to  abandon  his  purpose,  and  in  his 
stead  he  appointed  to  the  command  Vasquez  Coro- 
nado.  At  the  head  of  a  thousand  chosen  men  Coro- 
nado  started  from  Mexico,  well  provided  with  every- 


thing  necessary  for  conquest  and  settlement.  His 
guides  were  Franciscans.  After  advancing  three 
hundred  leagues  through  Sinaloa  and  the  valley  of 
Sonora,  they  finally  arrived  at  the  place  where  they 
expected  so  much.  Instead  of  large,  rich,  well-built, 
populous  towns,  as  they  were  led  to  expect,  they 
found,  to  their  disappointment,  only  a  few  misera- 
ble villages,  comprising  a  kingdom  called  Cibola. 
The  largest  of  the  number  which  they  named 
Grenada,  contained  a  couple  of  hundred  houses 
roughly  built  of  wood  and  clay,  but  of  four  or  five 
stories,  and  approached  by  wooden  stairs  or  lad- 
ders, which  were  removed  during  the  night. 

The  general  appearance  of  the  country,  though 
fit  for  agricultural  purposes,  in  no  way  answered 
the  expectations  of  the  Spaniards,  so  that  they  did 
not  deem  it  advisable  to  form  a  settlement  there. 
Unwilling,  however,  to  return  to  Mexico  without 
being  able  to  give  a  more  favorable  account  of  the 
expedition,  they  resolved  upon  dividing  the  force, 
and  examining  the  country  more  accurately.  Ac- 
cordingly, Lopez  de  Cardena  moved  with  the 
cavalry  in  the  direction  of  the  sea,  while  Coronado, 
the  commander  of  the  expedition,  marched  on- 
ward to  a  locality  called  Tigue,  where  he  received 
such  flattering  accounts  of  the  city  and  country  of 
Quivira,  that,  though  at  a  distance  of  three  hun- 
dred leagues  farther  on,  he  determined  to  visit 
the  place.  The  ruler  of  Quivira,  who  was  named 
Tatarax  or  Patarax,  enjoyed  the  two-fold  title  of 

68  HISTORY    OF    THE 

King  of  Axa  and  Quivira.     He  was  represented  as 
a  very  venerable  man,  with   a  flowing  beard,  of 
great  wealth,  and  partly  Christian.    As  in  the  case 
of  Cibola,   the   Spaniards  were  also   disappointed 
here  in   their  favorable  anticipations.     The    sole 
rich  as  of  the  country  they  found  to  consist  of  herds 
of  a  certain  species  of  black  cattle,  which  served 
the  natives  for  food  and  raiment.    Along  the  coasts 
they  noticed  several  vessels  which  they  took  to  be 
Chinese,  as  by  signs  they  learned  they  had  been  at 
sea  for  a  month.  Among  the  Spaniards  there  were 
those  who  were  desirous  of  settling  in  the  country, 
but  the  majority  refused  to  come  into  their  views. 
At  length,  their  ranks  being  thinned  by  death,  and 
the  survivors  weakened  and  discouraged  bv  sick- 
ness  and  fatigue,  it  was  determined  to  abandon  a 
country  where  they  could  expect  to  reap  only  so 
trifling  an  advantage.     They  accordingly  prepared 
for  their  return  to  Mexico,  where  they  arrived  at 
the  beginning  of  1542,  after  an  absence  of  three 
years,  without  any  better  result  than  having  dis- 
sipated the  erroneous  ideas  respecting  the  riches 
and  capabilities  of  the  country. 

The  expedition  forwarded  by  Cortes,  and  which 
consisted  of  three  vessels,  under  the  command  of 
Ulloa,  was  still  more  unfortunate.  One  of  the 
vessels  foundered  at  sea,  and  the  others  proceeded 
on  their  voyage  only  to  encounter  a  thousand  im- 
pediments from  the  natives,  the  season,  and  sick- 
ness.    In  a  terrible   storm,  in  the  vicinity  of  the 


Island  of  Cedros,  the  vessels  were  parted,  and  by 
some  it  is  thought  that  the  one  in  one  in  which 
Ulloa  had  sailed  wTas  lost,  but  of  this  there  is 
doubt.  The  other,  however,  returned  safely  to 
Acapulco,  with  the  sole  advantage,  during  its 
voyage,  of  having  established  the  fact  of  California 
being  a  peninsula. 

Of  the  Religious,  who  accompanied  Coronaclo's 
expedition,  Father  John  de  Paclillo  and  brother 
John  of  the  Cross,  remained  at  Tigue,  together 
with  a  Portuguese  and  some  Indians  ofMechanow. 
On  the  departure  of  Coronado,  the  Religious  re- 
turned to  Qnivira,  where  they  were  massacred 
with  some  of  their  companions  by  the  natives. 
The  Portuguese  had  the  good  fortune  to  escape, 
and  after  a  considerable  time  made  his  appearance 
at  Panuco.  Thus  ended  the  efforts  of  the  land 
force  dispatched  by  the  Viceroy  for  the  conquest 
of  the  new  country. 

In  accordance  with  the  original  plan,  Alarcon,  the 
commander  of  the  fleet,  proceeded  along  the  coast 
to  the  point  indicated  by  the  Viceroy,  but  the 
army  not  arriving,  and  the  term  of  his  instructions 
having  expired,  he  set  up  memorials  of  his  pres- 
ence and  returned  to  New  Spain,  where  he  imme- 
diately fell  into  disgrace,  and  retired  to  the  terri- 
tory of  Cortes  where  he  died  of  chagrin. 

While  the  Viceroy  Mendoza  and  Cortes  were 
preparing  their  respective  expeditions,  for  the 
purposes  referred  to,  the  conqueror  of  Guatemala, 

70  HISTORY    OF    THE 

Don  Pedro  Alvarez,  was  also  preparing  another 
which  he  intended  to  co-operate  with  that  of  the 
Viceroy.  His  share  in  the  general  force  consisted 
of  a  fleet  of  twelve  vessels,  constructed  at  very  con- 
siderable cost  at  the  port  of  Natividad.  He  was, 
however,  prevented  sending  this  aid,  having  acci- 
dently  met  with  his  death  by  a  fall  from  his  horse 
just  at  the  time  that  the  vessels  were  preparing  for 
sea.  The  ships  were  subsequently  taken  charge  of 
by  the  Viceroy,  who,  after  the  failure  of  the  expe- 
dition, despatched  two  of  them — the  San  Salvador 
and  the  La  Vitoria,  under  the  command  of  Juan 
Rodriguez  Cabrillo,  with  instructions  to  continue 
the  examination  of  the  coast  farther  north  than  the 
point  reached  by  Ulloa.  Cabrillo  put  to  sea  on 
the  27th  of  June,  1542,  and  on  the  2d  July  sighted 
the  California  shores  ;  three  days  later  he  anchor- 
ed at  Cape  St.  Lucas,  so  named  by  him  on  that 
occasion.  Thence  he  continued  his  voyage,  enter- 
ing at  different  points  along  the  coast,  to  which 
he  gave  appropriate  names,  till  the  22d  of  August, 
when  he  entered  a  beautiful  harbor  where  he  re- 
mained for  some  days,  and  to  which  he  gave  the 
name  of  Puerto  de  la  Posesion,  or  Possession  Port, 
in  consequence  of  his  having  taken  possession  of 
the  country  there  in  his  Majesty's  name.  Here 
he  learned  by  signs  from  the  natives  that  some  of 
Ulloa's  companions  were  still  living  at  some  distance 
in  the  interior,  but,  as  he  was  unwilling  to  abandon 
his  vessels,  and,  probably,  not  trusting  very  con- 


fidentlv  to  the  assertions  of  his  informers,  he  con- 
tented  himself  with  merely  giving  them  a  letter 
to  be  conveyed  to  his  countrymen.  Whether  the 
natives  effected  their  commission,  or  had  only  been 
deceiving  the  commander  from  the  outset,  is  en- 
tirely unknown,  but,  in  either  supposition,  no 
farther  information  was  received  of  the  party. 
What  is  especially  to  be  regretted  is,  that  Ca- 
brillo  himself  did  not  enter  the  country  with  a 
few  of  his  companions,  and  ascertain  the  truth  or 
falsehood  of  the  statement,  or  at  least  have  re- 
mained sufficiently  long  on  the  coast  to  give  his 
countrymen  time  to  arrive  from  the  interior, 
in  case  the  statement  proved  to  be  true.  Neither 
of  which  he  found  it  convenient  to  do,  for  he 
immediately  started  on  his  voyage  ;  and,  on  the 
28th  September,  entered  an  excellent  land-locked 
harbor,  to  which  he  gave  the  name  of  San  Miguel, 
but  now  known  as  San  Diego,  the  first  important 
port  on  this  side  of  the  line  which  divides  Upper 
from  Lower  California.  Thus  the  honor  of  being 
the  first  to  land  on  the  shores  of  Upper  Cali- 
fornia, is  due  to  the  eminent  Spanish  navigator, 
John  Rodriguez  Cabrillo. 

He  was  also  the  first -to  make  an  accurate  ex- 
amination1 of  the  coast  of  Lower  California,  to 
most  of  whose  ba}^s  and  openings  he  gave  appro- 
priate names.  From  San  Miguel  he  continued  his 
•examination  as  far  north  as  the  Port  of  Pines — 

(1)     Berual  Diaz  del  Castillo  drew  up  a  map  of  the  country  in  1541. 

72  HISTORY    OF    THE 

the  present  Monterey — where  he  was  taken  ill 
and  died  on  the  Island  of  San  Bernardo  on  the 
5th  of  January,  1542.  His  pilot,  Bartholomew 
Ferrelo,  took  charge  of  the  vessel,  and  advanced 
to  the  forty-third  degree  of  latitude,  but  here  en- 
countering unfavorable  weather,  he  was  necessi- 
tated to  return.  It  was  he  who  discovered  the 
Cape,  afterward  named  Mendocino  by  Yiscaino, 
in  honor  of  the  Viceroy  Mendoza. 

From  this,  till  the  British  appeared  on  the 
coast,  only  one  more  expedition  was  dispatched  by 
the  Spanish  authorities  in  1564.  The  commander 
of  this  was  Andreas  Urdaneta,  the  author  of  a 
chart,  which  was  subsequently  used  by  the  Span- 
iards for  a  century  or  more. 

The  tranquillity  which  the  Spaniards  hitherto 
enjoyed  in  prosecuting  their  inquiries  along  the 
northern  coast,  and  in  trading  with  the  East, 
was  now  destined,  for  the  first  time,  to  be 
rudely  disturbed.  Inflamed  by  the  accounts 
given  of  the  Spanish  possessions,  and  hoping  to 
enrich  themselves  by  a  system  of  plunder,  a  body 
of  reckless  English  adventurers,  commanded  by 
one  Oxenham,  crossed  the  Atlantic  in  1575,  and 
after  passing  the  Isthmus,  constructed  a  vessel  in 
the  Pacific  with  which  they  attempted  to  ravish 
the  Spanish  possessions.  Their  depredations  were 
not  of  long  continuance,  for  they  were  almost  im- 
mediately arrested  by  the  authorities,  and  ex- 
ecuted for  their  crimes.    Their  punishment,  though 


severe,  Was  insufficient  to  prevent  others  from  fol- 
lowing in  their  steps.  Hence,  the  appearance  on 
the  coast  in  1579,  of  Captain,  afterward,  Sir  Fran- 
cis Drake.  After  pillaging  the  South  American 
Spanish  possessions  of  Chili  and  Peru,  and,  having 
captured  the  royal  Philippine  vessel,  by  which  he 
became  possessed  of  nearly  two  millions  of  dollars, 
Drake  stood  up  to  the  north,  and  landed,  it  is 
thought,  at  Punta  Los  Reyes,  between  Bodega  and 
the  port  of  St.  Francis,  where  he  took  possession 
of  the  country  in  Her  Majesty's  name.  That  he 
did  not  enter  the  Golden  Gate,  we  will  afterwards 
show,  when  we  come  to  speak  of  the  discovery  of 
the  Bay  of  San  Francisco. 

To  relieve  the  memory  of  Drake  from  the  unfa- 
vorable light  in  which  it  is  generally  regarded, 
some  of  his  countrymen  have  thought  well  to  re- 
mind us,  that  his  piratical  adventures  were  only 
in  retaliation  for  an  act  of  injustice  done  him  by 
the  Spaniards.  In  1567,  while  proceeding  to 
Mexico  in  company  with  Captain,  afterwards  Ad- 
miral, Sir  John  Hawkins,  they  were  attacked  by 
the  Spaniards,  when  four,  out  of  six  vessels  com- 
posing their  fleet,  fell  into  the  hands  of  the  author- 
ities. As  the  expedition  was  entirely  a  mercan- 
tile speculation,  Drake  having  invested  in  it  all  the 
capital  of  which  he  was  master,  he  returned  a  pau- 
per to  England,  and  in  vain  petitioned  Charles  V. 
for  indemnity  for  his  losses.  Disappointed  in  his 
hopes,  if  indeed  he  ever  seriously  entertained  any, 

74  HISTORY    OF   THE 

he  vowed  with  an  oath  to  obtain  from  the  Span- 
iards by  pillage  what  was  denied  him  by  law.  In 
1570  he  obtained  a  commission  from  Elizabeth. 
Two  years  later,  with  a  fleet  of  three  vessels,  he 
made  a  descent  on  the  South  American  Atlantic 
border  in  the  vicinity  of  New  Grenada,  and,  after 
plundering  several  settlements,  found  himself  pos- 
sessor of  a  much  larger  fortune  than  he  had  lost  in 
the  Mexican  speculation.  How  the  apology  offered 
by  his  admirers  could  have  justified  him  in  this 
and  gained  him  the  approval  of  his  royal  mistress, 
it  is  not  necessary  here  to  inquire.  On  his  return 
to  England,  far  from  falling  under  the  displeasure 
of  his  soverign,  he  even  received  marks  of  the 
royal  esteem  by  being  honored  as  a  hero.  While 
on  the  Atlantic  border  at  Darien,  like  Balboa,  he 
had  seen  from  the  summit  of  a  lofty  mountain  the 
still  waters  of  the  Pacific,  yet  unexplored  by  the 
British.  The  representations  made  by  him  to  the 
sovereign  of  the  feebleness  of  Spain,  and  the  glit- 
tering prizes  to  be  made,  obtained  from  him  a 
new  commission,  consisting  of  five  vessels  and  a 
hundred  and  sixty- four  men,  with  which  he  sailed 
through  the  straits  of  Magellan,  and  appeared, 
as  we  have  said,  in  the  Pacific  in  1579. 
Fearing  to  fall  in  with  the  Spaniards  by  re- 
turning the  same  route,  he  traversed  the  Pa- 
cific, crossed  the  Indian  ocean,  doubled  the 
Cape  of  Good  Hope,  and  arrived  in  England  on 
the  26th  of  September,  1579.     Four  months  later 


he  was  knighted  by  Elizabeth,  who  partook  of  a 
banquet  on  board  his  vessel. 

Whatever  notions  the  majority  of  the  people  of 
Great  Britain  may  have  entertained  respecting  the 
justice  of  the  course  adopted  by  Drake,  the  rupture 
of  friendly  relations  at  this  time  between  Philip 
and  Elizabeth  was  considered  sufficient  justifica- 
tion for  continuing  like  acts,  while  the  success  at- 
tained under  the  circumstances,  were  not  slow  in 
inciting  others  to  follow  a  like  course.  Accord- 
ingly, we  are  not  astonished  at  finding  a  broken- 
down  gentleman,  attached  to  the  Court  of  St.  James, 
fitting  out  on  expedition  with  the  view  of  retrieving 
his  fortune,  and  obtaining  the  favor  of  his  sover- 
eign. Thomas  Cavendish,  or  Candish,  to  whom 
we  refer,  started  from  England  for  the  Pacific  on  the 
21st  July,  1586.  He  had  instructions  from  the 
crown  to  carry  the  war  into  the  Spanish  American 
Dependencies.  His  mission  was  faithfully  exe- 
cuted, for  he  sacked,  pillaged  and  burned  every 
town  and  village  that  came  in  his  way  from  Pata- 
gonia to  California.  The  great  object  of  his  am- 
bition, however,  being  the  capture  of  the  Spanish 
galleon  from  the  Philippines,  he  awaited  her  ar- 
rival at  the  extremity  of  Lower  California.  He 
had  not  to  delay  very  long,  for  about  the  4th  of 
November,  the  ill-fated  vessel  came  in  view  when, 
after  a  desperate  encounter,  Cavendish  succeeded 
in  making  her  his  own.  By  this  he  became  pos- 
sessed, it  is  said,  of  122,000  pezos  in  gold,  equiv- 

76  HISTORY    OF   THE 

alent  to  $3,000,000  in  silver,  besides  a  valuable 
cargo  in  merchandise.  The  captured  vessel  he 
ran  into  the  nearest  port,  where  he  set  her  on  fire, 
having  liberated  the  crew,  amounting  in  all  to  one 
hundred  and  ninety  persons.  Satisfied  with  this 
remarkable  success,  he  prepared  to  return  to  Eng- 
land, following  the  route  pursued  by  his  predeces- 
sor across  the  Pacific  to  the  Ladrones,  through  the 
Indian  Archipelago,  and  round  by  the  Cape.  He 
arrived  at  Plymouth  on  the  9th  September,  1588. 
The  true  character  of  his  expedition  is  best 
learned  from  his  own  words.  Boasting  of  his  ex- 
ploits, he  sa}^s:  "  I  have  navigated  along  the  coasts 
of  Chili,  Peru  and  Nova  Espagna,  where  I  made 
great  spoils;  I  burned  nineteen  ships  small  and 
great,  and  all  the  villages  and  towns  Handed  at  1 
burned  and  spoiled."  Cavendish  returned  again 
three  years  later  on  another  buccaneering  expedi- 
tion, but  this  time  not  with  such  marked  success 
to  himself,  for  he  sickened  and  died  at  sea. 

It  should  have  been  observed,  that  previous  to 
the  appearance  of  Cavendish  in  1582,  Francisco 
G-alli,  a  Spaniard,  on  returning  from  Manila  and 
Macao,  made  a  reconnoissance  of  the  coast  as  far 
north  as  the  fifty-seventh  degree  of  latitude.  To 
him  was  near  being  due  the  honor  of  discovering 
the  Bay  of  San  Francisco,  for,  in  his  account  of  the 
voyage,  he  tells  us  that  while  descending  the  coast, 
he  witnessed  the  sea  covered  with  numerous  de- 
bris— evidently  the  result  of  the  periodical  rains, 


by  which  these  numerous  objects  were  carried  out 
into  the  ocean. 

The  Spanish  authorities  were  now,  for  the  first 
time,  rejoiced  at  the  announcement  that  the  long- 
desired  passage  between  the  Atlantic  and  the 
Pacific  had  at  length  been  discovered.  An  ad- 
venturer, Lorenzo  Ferrer  Maldonado,  pretended  to 
have  sailed  through  its  waters,  to  which  he  gave  the 
name  of  the  Straits  of  Anian.  The  discovery,  if 
real,  was  certain  to  prove  of  the  highest  import- 
ance to  Spain,  for  the  voyages  to  the  East  would 
have  been  shortened  by  several  months.  To  ascer- 
tain the  truth  of  Maldonado's  assertion,  a  fleet  of 
three  vessels  and  one  hundred  men  was  immediately 
equipped  and  despatched  by  the  Viceroy,  with  in- 
structions to  garrison  and  fortify  the  entrance  lest 
the  British  might  make  use  of  it  for  arriving  in 
the  Pacific  and  ravaging  the  Spanish  possessions. 
The  expedition  proceeded  only  as  far  as  Lower 
California,  when  a  mutiny  occurred  and  the  pro- 
ject was  abandoned.  Four  years  subsequent  an- 
other attempt  was  made  to  prove  the  truth  of 
Maldonado's  assertion.  John  De  Fuca,  about 
whose  identity  so  much  doubt  has  been  expressed 
by  several  writers,  was  sent  by  the  Viceroy  in 
1592  on  a  similar  errand.  De  Fuca  had  been  pilot 
in  the  last  expedition,  and  was  also  on  board  the 
Santa  Anna,  captured  by  Cavendish.  With  a 
command  of  two  vessels  he  sailed  to  the  forty- 
eighth  degree  of  latitude,  where  he  entered  a  strait, 

78  HISTORY    OF    THE 

probably  the  present  Paget  Sound,  which  he  took 
for  the  one  he  was  in  search  of.  After  sailing 
up  it  several  days  he  retraced  his  course,  re- 
turned to  Acapulco  and  reported  his  success  to 
the  Viceroy.  The  matter  was  still  discredited  by 
many,  and  for  one  hundred  years  and  more  seems 
to  have  kept  the  country  in  a  state  of  suspense, 
for  as  late  as  1791  the  Sutil  and  Mejicana,  under 
Galliano  and  Valdez,  were  despatched  by  his  Ma- 
jest}^  in  order  to  clear  up  all  doubt  regarding  De 
Fuca's  assertions.  But  even  those  seem  to  have 
fallen  into  the  popular  error,  and  to  have  realized 
the  truth  of  the  Roman  commander's  assertion, 
"  Quod  fere  libenter  homines  id,  quod  volunt, 

The  injuries  which  had  been  inflicted  upon  the 
South  American  Spanish  possessions  by  the  British 
adventurers  between  1575  and  1587,  and  the  fear 
lest  such  acts  should  be  repeated  unless  prevented 
by  precautionary  measures,  now  for  the  first  time 
aroused  the  responsible  agents  of  government,  and 
caused  them  to  enter  upon  measures  for  the  de- 
fense of  the  coast.  The  objects  to  be  attained 
were  of  no  minor  importance.  The  whole  of  the 
South  American  possessions  had  to  be  defended  ; 
the  annual  Philippine  vessel  to  be  protected, 
the  countries  along  the  Californian  coast  reduced 
to  subjection  and  the  Christian  religion  established. 
Instructions   were  accordingly  received  from  old 

(1)  Gcesar  tie  Bello  Galileo:  Lib.  iii.,  Cap.  18. 


Spain  to  form  garrisons  along  the  coast,  and,  as  the 
extremity  of  the  Californian  Peninsula  was  the  chief 
rendezvous  of  the  pirates,  it  was  deemed  proper 
to  first  establish  a  garrison  at  that  point. 

In  compliance  with  his  Majesty's  wish  the  Vice- 
roy, Gaspar  de  Zimiga,  Count  de  Monterey,  im- 
mediately prepared  an  expedition  consisting  of 
three  vessels,  which  he  entrusted  to  the  care  of 
Sebastian  Viscaino.  The  fleet  started  from  Aca- 
pulco  for  California  about  the  beginning  of  1596, 
there  being  on  board  four  Franciscans.  These 
were  not,  in  all  probability,  the  first  mission- 
ary priests  who  landed  in  the  country;  for,  as 
early  as  1535,  Cortes,  when  preparing  for  his  expe- 
dition, is  represented  as  being  joined  by  several 
ecclesiastics.  Whether  they  actually  embarked 
and  landed  in  the  country,  is  not  positively  stated 
by  any  writers  ;  hence,  under  the  doubt,  to  the 
children  of  St.  Francis  must  be  granted  the  honor 
of  having  first  unfurled  the  banner  of  our  holy  re- 
ligion on  Californian  soil.  The  fleet  put  in,  in  the 
first  instance,  to  the  isles  of  Mazatlan,  where  fifty 
of  the  crew  deserted  their  commander ;  thence, 
they  proceeded  to  the  port  at  which  Cortes  had 
anchored,  probably  the  present  La  Paz,  where  they 
remained  for  a  couple  of  months.  During  the  stay, 
the  Fathers  made  every  effort  to  give  the  aborig- 
ines some  elementary  notions  of  the  Christian  re- 
ligion, and,  under  the  circumstances,  seem  to  have 
succeeded  as  well   as'  could   be   expected.     They 

80  HISTORY    OF    THE 

showed,  we  are  told,  the  greatest  respect  and  ven- 
eration for  the  Fathers,  regarding  them  as  beings 
of  a  superior  order,  and  asking  them  if  they  were 
not  "  Sons  of  the  Sun."  '  Their  conduct  during  the 
holy  sacrifice  of  the  Mass,  at  which  they  were  fre- 
quently permitted  to  be  present,  was  respectful 
and  edifying  ;  the  rites  and  ceremonies  fillel  them 
with  wonder  and  admiration.  Their  ready  and 
prompt  obedience,  too,  to  the  commands  of  the 
Religious  showed  them  to  be  a  docile,  tractable 
people,  and  fit  subjects  for  the  reception  of  the 

Yiscaino,  finding  his  provisions  running  low, 
and  the  country  unequal  to  the  support  of  his. 
men,  determined  upon  abandoning  the  enterprise 
and  returning  to  Acapulco,  where  he  arrived  in  Oc- 
tober, 1596.  Six  years  later,  in  1602, Yiscaino  head- 
ed another  expedition  for  a  like  object  at  the  com- 
mand of  Philip  III.  He  was  accompanied  on  this 
occasion  by  three  Carmelite  Friars,  Father  Andres 
de  la  Asencion,  Thomas  de  Aquino  and  Antonio 
de  la  Asencion,  the  last  of  whom  wrote  an  account 
of  the  voyage.  Speaking  of  the  reception  they 
met  with  from  the  Indians,  Father  Antonio  says: 
"  When  the  boats  were  near  the  shore,  the  Indians 
seeing  such  a  number  of  armed  men,  retired  in 
great  consternation  to  an  eminence  in  order  to 
secure  themselves,  if  the  strangers  should  attempt 
anything  against  them.  All  the  people  in  the 
boats  landed,  but,  as  they  advanced  towards  the 


Indians,  they  retired  till  Father  Antonio,  in  order 
to  allure  them  to  a  friendly  conference,  went  up 
alone  toward  them,  and,  by  signs  and  gestures, 
so  far  prevailed  that  they  waited  for  him;  and 
coming  up  to  them  he  embraced  them  all  in  the 
most  affectionate  manner." 

After  putting  into  various  ports  along  the  coast, 
on  the  10th  of  December  they  entered  the  harbor 
of  San  Miguel,  then  for  the  first  time  named  San 
Diego  by  Viscaino.  Thus  ended  the  third  exami- 
nation of  Lower  California,  the  two  former  having 
been  made  by  Ulloa  and  Cabrillo  respectively. 
From  San  Diego  he  proceeded  north  to  about 
the  forty-third  degree  of  latitude,  in  the  vicinity 
of  the  present  city  of  Oregon,  but  finding  the 
weather  unfavorable  and  several  of  his  men  suffer- 
ing from  scurvy  and  other  diseases,  he  altered  his 
course  and  returned  to  Mexico,  where  he  arrived 
on  the  29th  of  April,  1603. 

The  next  priest  who  visited  the  coast  was  Padre 
Diego  de  la  Neva,  who  accompanied  Don  Francis 
Ortega  in  his  expedition  of  1632.  De  Neva  had 
been  appointed  by  the  Bishop  of  Guadalaxara  as 
Yicar  of  California,  though  it  is  difficult  to  see  in 
.what  his  ministrations  of  Yicar  were  to  consist, 
none  of  the  natives  having  been  yet  brought  to  a 
knowledge  of  the  truth.  Ortega  did  not  remain 
more  than  a  few  months  in  the  country,  having 
obtained  a  large  quantity  of  valuable  pearls,  with 
which  he  returned  to  Mexico  and  which  he  disposed 

82  HISTORY    OF   THE 

of  to  the  greatest  advantage.  He  returned  again 
the  following  year,  as  also  the  year  after,  accom- 
panied by  his  former  missionary  friend,  and  another 
named  Father  Juan  de  Zuiiiga. 

Sixteen  years  later,  in  1648,  we  find  two  Jesuit 
missionaries,  Fathers  Yacinto  Cortes  and  Andreas 
Baez,  accompanying  Admiral  Casinate,  but  these, 
like  their  predecessors,  remained  only  as  long  as 
the  squadron  lay  on  the  coast.  Indeed,  all  the 
Religious,  who  hitherto  entered  the  country,  were 
more  in  the  character  of  chaplains  to  the  expedi- 
tions than  missionaries  to  the  natives.  The  time 
had  not  yet  come  when  the  missionary  priests 
should  enter  unreservedly  upon  the  conversion  of 
the  natives,  living  their  lives  and  sharing  their 
fortunes.  I  merely  mention  this  fact  in  order  that 
the  reader  may  not  be  unaware,  that  the  country 
had  been  casually  visited  by  missionaries  previous 
to  the  date  when,  as  we  shall  presently  see,  a  reg- 
ular organized  effort  was  made  for  the  conversion 
of  the  people. 

Again,  in  1668,  Francis  Luzivilla,  an  enterpris- 
ing citizen,  fitted  out  an  expedition  at  his  own 
private  expense  with  the  view  of  forming  a  colony 
on  the  coast.  He  was  accompanied  by  two  Fran- 
ciscans, Fathers  Juan  Caranco  and  Juan  Ramirez, 
who  are  represented  as  having  made  an  earnest 
but  ineffectual  effort,  during  their  short  stay  in 
the  country,  for  the  conversion  of  the  natives. 
Luzivilla's  object   was  to  make  a  settlement  in  the 


country,  while  the  Religious  were  to  employ  them- 
selves in  the  conversion  of  the  people.  He  at- 
tempted his  project  by  forming  a  little  colony  at 
Puerto  de  la  Paz,  but  the  difficulties  proving  too 
great,  he  had  to  abandon  his  purpose. 

The  last  expedition  undertaken  at  the  expense- 
of  government  took  place  in  1683.  It  was  com- 
manded by  Admiral  Otondo,  and  attended  by 
three  Jesuit  missionary  Fathers,  named  respect- 
ively Father  Kiihno,  Juan  Baptista  Copart,  and 
Pedro  Mathias  Goni.  The  expedition  landed  on 
the  2d  of  June,  1683,  and  remained  till  September, 
1685,  a  period  of  over  two  years,  during  which 
the  Fathers  laid  the  foundation  of  the  missions, 
and  prepared  the  country  for  the  introduction  of 
Christianity.  The  missionaries'  first  care  was  to 
learn  the  language,  after  which  they  occupied 
themselves  in  translating  into  it  the  principal  arti- 
cles of  the  Catholic  faith.  As  can  be  readily  un 
derstood,  not  having  any  elementary  works,  the 
difficulties  they  encountered  were  unusually  great. 
The  entire  absence,  too,  of  appropriate  terms 
to  express  certain  religious  ideas  was  an  addi- 
tional obstacle  in  the  way.  The  following  may 
serve  as  an  instance  of  this:  When  occupied  in 
translating  the  creed,  they  were  unable  to  find  a 
word  proper  to  express  "the  resurrection  from 
the  dead."  That  there  should  be  in  the  language 
such  a  term  they  could  not  reasonably  doubt,  but 
to  find  it  was  the    difficulty.     Taking   some  flies, 

84  HISTORY    OF    THE 

in  the  presence  of  the  Indians,  they  put  them 
under  water  till  they  were  supposed  to  be  dead ; 
then,  exposing  them  to  the  rays  of  the  sun  till 
their  vital  faculties  were  restored,  the  Indians, 
on  seeing  the  change,  cried  out  in  amazement, 
"  Ibimuhueite  !  Ibimuhueite  !"  which  the  Fathers 
took  to  express,  ;'  they  returned  to  life,'7  and  in 
absence  of  a  better  expression,  applied  it  to  the 
resurrection  of  the  Redeemer. 

During  the  two  years  they  remained  in  the 
country,  four  hundred  adults  were  prepared  for 
the  holy  sacrament  of  baptism;  but,  as  the  mis- 
sionaries were  unable  to  remain  longer  than  the 
expedition,  none  were  received  into  the  church  ex- 
cept those  in  danger  of  death.  Of  these  there 
were  thirteen,  three  of  whom  recovered,  and  were 
brought  away  by  the  Fathers,  with  the  consent  of 
their  parents.  In  fine,  the  garrison  being  reduced 
to  the  greatest  extremities  for  want  of  provisions, 
the  admiral  embarked  his  men  and  abandoned  the 
country,  the  barren  and  inhospitable  nature  of 
whose  soil,  and  not  the  hostility  of  the  natives, 
prevented  him  from  making  a  permanent  settle- 
ment on  the  coast.  Twelve  years  later,  in  1697, 
the  reduction  of  the  country  was  entrusted  to  the 
care  of  the  Fathers,  and  the  missions  regularly 
established,  as  we  shall  afterward  see. 



Etymology  of  California.  —  Character  of  the  Country.  —  Extent. 
—  Capabilities.  —  Tribes.  —  Pericues.  — Monqui.  —  Cochimes.  — 
Language.  —  Mode   of    Life.  —  Physical    Character.  —  Unac- 

quaintance  with  letters.  hleroglyphical  remains. mental 

Condition,  etc. 

From  the  time  of  the  discovery  of  California  by 
Cortes,  in  1536,  to  1701,  when  the  fact  of  its  be- 
ing a  portion  of  the  main,  land  was  fully  estab- 
lished by  the  Jesuit  missionary,  Father  Kuhno,  it 
was  generally  regarded,  in  Europe,  as  an  island, 
or,  indeed,  a  cluster  of  islands.  That  part  of  the 
ocean  was,  in  consequence,  regarded  as  an  archi- 
pelago. Hence  the  name  by  which  we  find  it  some- 
times mentioned  in  history,  "  Islas  Carolinas,"  a 
name  given  it  in  honor  of  Charles  II.  of  Spain. 
Previous  to  this,  it  had  been  known  as  Ciguatan, 
Santiago,  Santa  Cruz,  Islas  de  Perlas  and  Islas  Am- 
azones.  The  gulf  was  likewise  honored  with  differ- 
ent titles,  as  the  Sea  of  Cortes,  the  Vermilion  Sea, 
the  Mar  Lauretana,  etc.1 

Why  it  should  have  been  regarded  as  an  island, 
later  than  the  middle  of- the  sixteenth  century, 
seems  difficult  to  understand ;  as  in  a  map,  drawn  up 
in  the  year  1541,  by  Bernal  Diaz  del  Castillo,  an 
officer  in  Ulloa's  expedition,  the  country  is  repre- 
sented  as  a  peninsula,  and  almost  in  its   actual 

(1)     See  Exploration  and  Settlement  of  Lower  California:  by  J.  B. 
Brown,  p.  7. 

83  HISTORY   OF    THE 

state.  Whether  Castillo  formed  his  map  after  a 
careful  examination  of  the  coast,  or  from  a  prob- 
able conjecture  of  its  character,  I  am  unable  to 
sa) ;  but  that  the  Jesuit  missionaries  were  the 
first  to  establish  the  fact,  and  to  obtain  for  it  gen- 
eral assent,  must  be  admitted  by  all.  The  energy 
and  ability  displayed  by  the  Fathers  in  solving 
this  geographical  problem,  and  in  surveying  the 
inner  and  outer  coasts,  under  the  most  difficult 
circumstances,  as  we  shall  afterward  see,  entitle 
them  to  the  respect  and  admiration  of  all,  and  to 
honorable  mention  in  the  annals  of  this  country, 
whether  civil  or  religious. 

The  etymology  of  the  word  California  is  in- 
volved in  impenetrable  obscurity.  The  oldest  and 
best  informed  writers  have  been  unable  to  deter- 
mine its  meaning.  Some  are  of  opinion  that  it 
owes  its  origin  to  accident;  being,  as  they  sup- 
pose, a  word  used  by  the  Indians,  but,  misinter- 
preted and  misapplied  by  the  Spaniards.  Others 
are  inclined  to  believe  it  a  Latin  polysyllable,  com- 
pounded of  the  words  "  calida  fornax"  (heated 
furnace),  by  which  they  ingenuously  suppose  the 
discoverers  designated  the  country,  on  account  of 
the  intensity  of  the  heat.  Others,  again,  as  Father 
Aroio,  derive  it  from  a  word  in  the  vernacular,  sig- 
nifying a  species  of  gum,  known  to  exude  very 
freely  from  a  particular  timber  of  the  country. 
How  far  any  or  all  these  opinions  are  worthy  of 
attention,  is  left  entirely  to  the  judgment  of  the 


reader  to  determine;  nor,  indeed,  is  it  much  to 
our  purpose,  beyond  gratifying  an  idle  curiosity, 
to  be  able  to  assign  the  true  etymological  meaning 
of  the  word. 

The  great  extent  of  coast,  within  which  the  two 
Californias  are  comprised,  makes  it  apparent  that 
a  great  diversity  of  climate  must  be  the  natural 
result.  There  are  not,  perhaps,  any  other  sections 
of  the  American  continent,  of  equal  extent,  pre- 
senting such  a  diversity  of  climate,  and  so  great  a 
dissimilarity  in  capabilities  and  natural  produc- 
tions. The  one  is,  in  general,  with  little  excep- 
tion, arid,  barren  and  inhospitable,  affording  little 
attraction  for  man  or  beast;  while  the  other,  though 
in  many  instances,  presenting  like  characteristics, 
is  yet,  on  the  whole,  fruitful,  productive  and  salu- 

Speaking  of  Lower  California,  the  author  of  the 
natural  and  civil  history  of  the  country,  says  :  "  It 
may  be  said,  in  general,  that  the  air  is  dry  and  hot 
to  a  great  degree;  and  that  the  soil  is  barren,  rug- 
ged, wild,  everywhere  overrun  with  mountains, 
rock  and  sancl;  with  little  water,  and,  consequently, 
unfit  either  for  agriculture,  planting  or  grazing." 
And  in  another  place,  the  same  author  writes :  "The 
aspect  of  Lower  California,  generally  speaking,  is 
disagreeable  and  forbidding,  and  its  broken  land  is 
extremely  rocky  and  sandy;  it  lacks  water,  and  is 
covered  with  thorny  plants,  where  it  is  capable  of 
producing  vegetation;  and  where  not,  it  is  covered 

88  HISTORY    OF   THE 

with  heaps  of  rocks  and  sand.  *  *  *  *  The  whirl- 
winds, which  sometimes  occur,  are  so  furious,  that 
they  uproot  trees,  and  overturn  the  huts.  The 
rains  are  so  rare,  that  should  two  or  three  showers 
fall  during  the  year,  the  Californians  consider 
themselves  peculiarly  blessed.  Springs  are  few 
and  scarce,  and  so  far  as  rivers  are  concerned, 
there  is  not  one  on  the  whole  peninsula;  although 
the  rivulets  of  Mulege"  and  San  Jose  del  Cabo 
were  dignified  with  that  name.  The  latter  runs 
through  San  Bernabe,  and,  after  a  short  course  of 
two  miles,  empties  itself  into  the  gulf,  at  twenty- 
seven  degrees.  All  the  rest  are  brooks  or  torrents, 
which,  being  dry  the  whole  year,  when  it  rains 
contain  some  water,  and  their  current  is  so  rapid 
that  they  upset  everything,  and  carry  destruction 
to  the  few  settlements  which  exist  here." 

This  is  confirmed  by  Baron  Von  Humboldt,  who 
made  a  voyage  to  the  coast  in  1811.  "  The  soil," 
writes  the  Baron,  "  is  sandy  and  arid,  like  the 
shores  of  Provence;  vegetation  is  at  a  stand,  and 
rain  is  very  infrequent."  And  again:  "  Old  Cali- 
fornia, on  account  of  the  arid  nature  of  the  soil, 
and  the  want  of  water  and  vegetable  earth  in  the 
interior  of  the  country,  will  never  be  able  to  main- 
tain a  great  population,  any  more  than  the  north- 
ern part  of  Sonora,  which  is  almost  equally  dry 
and  sandy." 

That  the  foregoing  is  a  tolerably  accurate  es- 
timate of  the  country  in  its  general  aspect  must 


be  admitted.  Hence  the  sparseness  of  the  pop- 
ulation by  which  it  has  been  hitherto  inhabited. 
By  the  appliances,  however,  of  modern  science, 
and  under  the  indomitable  energy  of  the  Ameri- 
can race,  Lower  California  is  likely,  before  long, 
to  assume  a  respectable  position  as  a  mercan- 
tile, mineral  and  agricultural  province.  Indeed, 
there  are  those  who  are  of  opinion,  that  by  a  well- 
conducted  system  of  irrigation,  effected  mainly  on 
the  artesian-well  principle,  the  valleys,  plains  and 
table-lands  of  the  country  might  be  brought  to  a 
high  degree  of  agricultural  perfection.  The  testi- 
mony of  one  who  has  spent  several  years  in  the 
country  is  decidedly  to  this  effect. 

"  Throughout  the  territory,"  writes  Mr.  Sprague, 
u  are  valleys,  plains,  table-lands  and  tracts  on  the 
mountains  that  are  first-class  agricultural  land. 
Water  is  found  in  many  places  on  the  surface,  and 
almost  anywhere  by  digging  a  moderate  depth,  or 
by  artesian  boring,  in  much  larger  quantities  than 
superficial  observers,  or  persons  not  well  ac- 
quainted with  the  country  and  climate,  would  sup- 
pose. By  artesian  wells,  or  broad  wells,  or  pits, 
lifting  the  water  by  windmills,  a  large  breadth  of 
the  country  can  be  cultivated  in  tropical  and  semi- 
tropical  productions,  as  well  as  wheat  and  corn  of 
a  more  northern  climate.  The  climate  of  the 
peninsula  is  undoubtedly  one  of  the  healthiest  in 
the  world;  and  for  persons  of  consumptive  habits, 
without   a   parallel.     This  fact  is  getting  to   be 

90  HISTORY   OF    THE 

more  and  more  known  on  this  coast;  and  were  the 
facilities  for  purchasing  land  such  as  to  afford  en- 
couragement, numbers  from  the  population  of  this 
coast  would  go  up  there  to  make  their  home." 

Independent  of  artificial  irrigation,  the  same 
writer  assures  us  that  much  might  be  made  of  the 
country.  Extensive  crops  of  wheat,  oats  and  bar- 
ley are  annually  raised  in  different  parts  by  the 
ordinary  means.  Cotton,  which  is  indigenous  to 
the  soil,  is  represented  as  of  a  remarkably  fine  and 
silken  texture.  Vines  thrive  exceedingly  well, 
and  produce,  we  are  told,  a  wine  but  little  inferior 
to  Madeira. 

Olives,  elates,  figs,  and  other  tropical  fruits,  are 
found  there  in  considerable  quantities;  while,  as 
regards  the  esculents,  the  sweet  potato  is  chiefly 
remarkable  both  for  size  and  quality.  Added  to 
this,  there  can  be  hardly  any  doubt  about  the 
existence  of  extensive  mineral  beds  of  a  rich 
quality  of  ore. 

Already  the  greater  part  of  the  country  has  found 
its  way  into  the  hands  of  American  companies. 
In  1866,  the  Mexican  Government,  under  the  Pres- 
idency of  Juarez,  sold  to  the  Lower  California 
Colonization  Company  forty-six  thousand  eight 
hundred  square  miles  of  the  country  for  the  sum  of 
two  hundred  and  sixty  thousand  dollars  in  gold. 
The  Peninsula  Plantation  and  Homestead  Associa- 
tion also  obtained  from  the  government  extensive 
tracts  along  Mulege  and  ConcepcionBay,  in  the  Gulf 


of  California.  The  companies  propose  to  conduct 
their  respective  investments  on  the  principle  of 
cheap  labor,  imported  from  China  and  Africa;  but 
whether  such  shall  not  rather  result  in  a  species  of 
vassalage,  and  prove  of  little  advantage  to  any, 
except  those  forming  the  monopoly,  remains  to 
be  seen.  It  is,  however,  to  be  observed  that  the 
companies  are  ready  to  dispose  of  a  portion  of 
their  allotments  to  emigrants  desirous  of  settling 
in  the  country.  The  entire  extent  of  the  penin- 
sula is  two  hundred  thousand  square  miles,  with 
a  population  of  from  forty  to  fifty  thousand, 
composed  of  natives,  Spaniards,  Mexicans,  Amer- 
icans, Germans  and  French.1  The  exports,  which 
consist  of  hides,  salt,  cheese,  sugar,  figs,  etc.,  are 
estimated  at  an  annual  value  of  between  one  and 
two  million  dollars.  In  short,  it  is  probable  that 
before  long,  Lower  California  will  assume  a  far 
more  prominent  position  than  she  has  hitherto  at- 
tained under  Spanish  or  Mexican  rule ;  and  most 
probably,  too,  when  that  shall  have  been  attained, 
the  country,  like  Alta  California,  will  become  a 
portion  of  the  American  Republic. 

Of  Upper,  or  American,  California,  much  more 
may  be  said  in  its  praise.  Although  in  general 
possessing  somewhat  similar  characteristics,  being 
a  continuation  of  the  same  line  of  coast,  it  possesses 
numerous  advantages  which  the   other   does  not 

(1)     In  1867,  the  population  was  twenty-six  thousand.     Vide  Explo- 
ration Lower  California j-  p.  77. 

92  HISTORY    OF   THE 

enjoy.  A  better  and  more  appreciable  climate, 
heavier  and  more  certain  periodical  rains,  larger 
and  more  productive  valleys,  and  mineral  resources 
of  a  superior  and  more  extensive  character,  may 
be  stated  as  among  the  advantages. 

In  dimensions,  Upper  California  is  the  second 
largest  State  in  the  Union,  second  only  to  Texas, 
and  comprising  within  it,  as  we  have  said,  an  area 
of  one  hundred  and  eighty-eight  thousand  nine 
hundred  and  eighty-two  square  miles.  Its  general 
aspect,  like  that  of  Lower  California,  is  hilly, 
mountainous,  and  uneven.  The  Sierra  Nevada,  or 
Snowy  Range,  on  the  eastern,  and  the  Coast  Range 
on  the  western  side,  are  the  principal  mountain 
chains,  some  of  which,  as  Mount  Shasta  and  Mount 
Whitney,  rise  to  an  elevation  of  between  fourteen 
and  fifteen  thousand  feet  above  the  level  of  the 
sea.  Between  those  extensive  ranges,  which  run 
irregularly  through  the  entire  length  of  the  coun- 
try, are  several  extensive  valleys,  of  from  twenty 
to  thirty  miles  in  width,  and  from  one  to  two  hun- 
dred in  length,  capable  of  maintaining  large  popu- 
lations, and  remarkable  alike  for  the  richness  and  fer- 
tility of  their  soil,  the  beauty  of  their  scenery,  and 
the  salubrity  of  their  climate.  Of  these,  the  Sac- 
ramento, San  Joaquin,  Santa  Clara  and  Yosemite 
are  the  principal,  the  two  former  being  regarded, 
and  justly,  as  the  garden  of  California.  The 
scenery  of  the  Yosemite  is  equal  to  any  to  be  met 
with  on  the  American  continent. 


The  mountain  ranges  in  the  North  are,  for  the 
most  part,  covered  with  luxurious  forests  of  oak, 
pine,  laurel,  cedar  and  redwood;  the  latter,  in  some 
instances,  growing  to  the  enormous  proportions  ot 
thirty  feet  in  diameter,  and  as  many  as  three  hun- 
dred and  fifty  in  height — characteristics  which 
have  earned  for  them  the  soubriquet  of  "Big 
Trees."  Scattered  through  the  country  in  various 
directions  are  numerous  beautiful  lakes,  to  the 
number  of  twenty  or  more,  the  largest  being  Tu- 
lare, and  the  most  elevated  Lake  Tahoe  or  Bigler, 
situated  at  a  distance  of  six  thousand  feet  above 
the  sea.  Eight  and  twenty  rivers  flow  from  these 
lakes,  or  otherwise  rise  in  the  mountains,  water- 
ing and  fertilizing  the  valleys  on  their  way  to  the 
ocean.  The  entire  population  of  the  State,  ac- 
cording to  the  latest  returns  for  the  year  1870, 
was  five  hundred  and  fifty-six  thousand  six  hun- 
dred and  thirteen,  which  is  an  increase  of  almost 
two  hundred  thousand  for  the  last  decade;  the 
number  in  1 860  being  only  three  hundred  and 
seventy-nine  thousand  nine  hundred  and  ninety- 

The  agricultural  and  garden  productions  which 
comprise  many,  both  of  the  temperate  and  tropic- 
al, regions,  are  comprehended  mainly  under  the 
head  of  wheat,  oats,  barley,  grasses,  oranges,  lem- 
ons, etc.  The  tropical  productions  are  confined 
exclusively  to  the  southern  parts  of  the  State,  in 
the  immediate  vicinity  of  Los  Angeles  and  the 

94  HISTORY    OF   THE 

other  neighboring  towns.  The  yield  of  grain,  being 
greater  than  that  required  for  the  necessities  of 
the  population,  large  quantities  are  annually  ex- 
ported to  the  Eastern  States  and  to  Europe.  Two 
y<jars  prior  to  this,  in  1868,  the  wheat  crop  gave 
a  return  of  nineteen  millions  of  bushels,  and  the 
oats  and  barley  seven  millions,  while  the  wine 
crop  for  the  same  year  is  put  down  at  five  millions 

The  raising  of  stock,  and  particularly  of  sheep, 
has  also  begun  to  form  one  of  the  most  important 
interests  of  the  State.  In  1869,  the  wool  amount- 
ed to  eighteen  millions  of  pounds,  which,  after 
some  years,  will  doubtless  be  very  considerably 
increased.  There  is,  however,  one  not  very  incon- 
siderable danger  which  ever  threatens  the  agricul- 
tural and  stock  interests  of  the  State.  It  is  the 
occasional  droughts  with  which  the  country  has 
been  visited  at  times.  Deprived  of  the  periodical 
rains,  the  crops  and  the  cattle  suffer  extremely. 
The  former  are  prevented  from  coming  to  maturity, 
and  the  latter  perish  by  thousands  for  the  want  of 
necessary  pasturage.  But  the  danger  from  this  is 
now  immeasurably  less  than  in  the  past,  as  far  as 
the  stock  is  concerned;  for,  in  case  of  a  drought, 
either  the  cattle  can  be  transported  to  the  East  by 
the  railway,  or  fodder  supplies  brought  into  the 
country  by  similar  means.  The  expense  attend- 
ing either  resort  would  be  undoubtedly  great, 
yet  comparatively  small,  relatively  to   the  entire 


loss  of  the  herds.  But  as  it  has  not  been  the  agri- 
cultural resources  of  the  country  that  have  raised 
California  to  her  present  position,  as  a  principal 
State  of  the  Union,  but  her  extraordinary  mineral 
wealth,  unparalleled  by  any  other  in  the  world,  it 
is  to  the  latter,  and  not  to  the  former,  she  must 
still  look  for  assistance  in  advancing  on  the  road, 
of  national  prosperity.  The  total  value  of  gold  de- 
rived from  the  country,  since  its  discovery  in  1848, 
has  exceeded  the  almost  fabulous  sum  of  one  bil- 
lion dollars.  Of  this  enormous  yield,  sixty-five  mil- 
lions was  the  largest  amount  realized  in  any  one 
year.  Independent  of  the  gold  and  silver  mines,  the 
country  also  produces  copper,  iron,  lead,  coal,  pla- 
tinum, nickel,  salt,  borax,  tin,  zinc  and  quicksilver. 
The  principal  exports  are  gold  and  grain ;  the  annual 
amount  of  which  leaving  the  coast  may  be  judged 
from  the  fact  of  twenty-three  million  dollars  worth 
of  merchandise  having  left  the  port  in  1868.  In 
fine,  the  capabilities,  natural  resources  and  favor- 
able mercantile  position  of  the  country  are  all  so 
strongly  in  its  favor  as  to  leave  little  to  be  doubted 
that,  before  the  present  generation  shall  have 
passed,  California  will  have  attained  the  rank 
of  one  of  the  leading  States  of  the  Republic. 

Before  informing  the  reader  of  the  labors  and 
exertions  of  the  missionary  Fathers  in  behalf  of 
the  natives,  it  is  proper  to  give  an  account  of  the 
habits,  manners  and  customs  of  the  people.  On 
arriving  in  California,  the  Jesuit  missionaries  found 


the  country  inhabited  by  different  tribes,  or  more 
properly,    different   nations,    inasmuch    as    they 
spoke  different  languages  and  were  governed  by 
separate    chiefs.      There    has   been    considerable 
speculation  regarding  the  division   of  the  inhabi- 
tants and  the   number  of  languages.     The  most 
probable  and  judicious  opinion  classifies  the  abo- 
rigines   of    Lower  California    into    the   following 
tribes:  The  Pericues,  who  inhabited  the  south;  the 
Monqui,    who     dwelt    in    the    interior;    and    the 
Cochimes,  who  lived  in  the  north.     The  Pericues 
and  Cochimes  were  also  known  under  the  names  of 
Edues  and  Laymones.     The  three  principal  bodies 
were  further  subdivided  into  several  minor  tribes 
known  under  special  appellations,    and   speaking 
different  languages,  or,  at  least,  widely  different 
dialects  of  the  same  tongue.    The  most  numerous  of 
these  principal  divisions  was  that  of  the  Cochimes, 
or  Laymones,  divided  like  the  others  into  several 
smaller  bodies,  differing  exceedingly  in  their  lan- 
guage as  regarded  its    idiom,  pronunciation  and 
termination.      To  the  north,   on  the  west  of  the 
Colorado  River,  inhabited  the  Bagiopos  and  the 
Hoabonomas;  while  in  Upper  California,  between 
San  Diego  and  Cape  Mendocino,   the  country  was 
divided  between  the  Washoes,   the  Piutes,  Shos- 
hones,  etc.,  some  thousands  of  whom  still  roam  un- 
converted through  the  mountains,  encamping  be- 
times in  the  neighborhood  of  towns,  and  passing  a 
precarious  existence.     Among  the  inhabitants  of 


A- Z.St:  ■' 

/ . 

.,/,'      ,        -    S/,-r     •/''/,         '■■        /    ,  ,,.,---  I    ■     . 



Upper  California,  the  diversity  of  language  was 
found  to  be  even  greater  than  among  their  brethren 
of  the  south.  In  his  history  of  the  customs  and 
manners  of  the  Indians,  Father  Boscana  assures  us 
that  within  every  fifteen  or  twenty  leagues  a  dif- 
ferent language  prevailed — so  different  as  to  be 
entirely  unintelligible  to  those  of  the  neighboring 
missions.  "The  natives  of  San  Diego  cannot  un- 
derstand a  word  of  the  language  used  in  this  mis- 
sion— San  Juan  Capistrano — and  in  like  manner 
those  in  the  neighborhood  of  Santa  Barbara  and 
further  north."  *  How  this  is  to  be  accounted  for, 
except  by  attributing  it  to  a  difference  of  race,  is 
difficult  to  be  seen,  and  yet  to  admit  such  a  variety 
of  origin  is  open  to  serious  objection. 

Of  the  present  unconverted  inhabitants,  little 
can  be  said  in  their  favor.  Like  their  ances- 
tors of  old,  they  lead  a  wandering,  migratory  life; 
moving  periodically  from  place  to  place,  for  the 
purpose  of  hunting,  fishing,  amusement,  or  the 
gathering  of  supplies.  Being  entirely  unacquainted 
with  every  form  of  civilized  life,  and  the  comforts 
and  advantages  attendant  thereon,  they  suffer 
but  little  from  their  rude,  nomadic  existence. 
Though  averse  to  all  manual  labor,  some  of  them 
not  unfrequently  engage  in  little  works  for  the 
whites,  for  which  they  receive  a  trifling  remunera- 
tion. But,  as  a  rule,  they  make  no  provision  for 
their  wants,  beyond  what  is  offered  them  spontane- 

(1)     Historical  Account  of  the  Indians;  by  Father  Boscana,  p.  240. 

98  HISTORY    OF    THE 

ously  by  nature.  Some,  indeed,  (but  they  are  the 
exceptions)  sow  little  patches  of  corn  and  beds  of* 
melons;  while  others  tend  a  species  of  clover,  of 
which  they  are  exceedingly  fond.  The  principal 
staple  commodities,  however,  on  which  they  mainly 
rely  for  a  living,  are  pine  nuts,  grass  seeds,  roots, 
berries,  and  the  product  of  the  chase.  Yet,  when 
pressed  by  hunger,  they  will  not  refuse  reptiles, 
insects  and  vermin.  In  fact,  there  is  hardly  any- 
thing in  the  shape  of  animal  or  vegetable  food  too 
coarse  and  indelicate  for  the  poor  Californian  In- 
dian. One  half  of  the  }^ear  is  ordinarily  spent  in 
making  provision  for  the  other  half.  How  meagre 
this  must  necessarily  be,  the  reader  may  readily 

Their  dwellings,  which  hardly  deserve  the 
name,  are  ordinarily  located  on  the  banks  of  riv- 
ers, or  in  the  dells  of  mountains.  They  are 
among  the  rudest  and  least  comfortable  habita- 
tions of  any  people  in  the  world.  A  few  poles, 
stuck  circularly  in  the  ground,  and  brought  to- 
gether in  a  conical  shape,  constitute  the  wood- 
work of  the  hut.  Over  this,  a  few  bundles  of  sage 
brush,  a  species  of  brush-wood,  are  loosely  thrown, 
and  in  this  consists  the  entire  dwelling.  Here,  in 
these  cheerless  abodes,  through  which  the  rain,  sleet 
and  snow  freely  penetrate,  the  poor  Californian 
spends  the  long  winter  night,  without  any  other 
protection  or  defence  against  the  inclemency  of  the 
season,  save  that  afforded  him  by  his  mantlet  of 


rabbit  or  deer  skin,  or  by  the  heat  of  his  camp-fire 
from  without.  Yet,  strange  as  it  may  appear,  it  is 
one  of  the  rarest  occurrences  to  meet  with  one  of 
these  children  of  nature  suffering  from  the  effects  of 
a  cold.  Custom,  from  infancy,  has  inured  them  to 
their  condition,  and  any  change  to  a  more  delicate 
mode  of  existence^  would,  it  is  thought,  be  preju- 
dicial to  their  health. 

In  respect  to  their  raiment,  they  are  as  poorly 
and  meagrely  supplied,  as  in  the  matter  of  diet. 
Previous  to  the  coming  of  the  Americans  among 
them,  their  dress  consisted  of  the  skins  of  those 
animals  taken  in  the  chase ;  but  now,  as  a  general 
rule,  they  are  clad  in  the  old,  cast-off  garments  of 
the  whites;  but  with  what  taste  and  comfort,  may 
be  readily  imagined,  from  the  life  they  lead. 

The  Indians  that  inhabited  the  country  on  the 
arrival  of  the  missionaries,  differed  little  from 
those  of  the  present  day.  According  to  the  most 
reliable  testimony,  they  could  not  be  favorably 
compared  with  the  other  American  races.  They 
were,  we  are  assured,  as  weak  in  body  as  in  mind. 
Like  the  South  Sea  Indians,  those  of  Lower  Cali- 
fornia daubed  and  painted  their  faces  with  oint- 
ment and  colors,  bored  holes  through  their  ears 
and  nostrils,  and  otherwise  disfigured  their  general 
appearance,  so  as  to  cause  them  to  look,  contrary 
to  their  intention,  to  the  greatest  disadvantage. 
Their  complexion,  was,  in  general,  swarthier  than 
that  of  the  Indians  of  New  Spain.      They  had  no 

100  HISTORY   OF    THE 

idea  of  letters,  nor  of  any  method  of  computing 
the  time;  being,  in  this,  similar  to  all  the  other 
American  races,  except  the  Peruvians  and  the 
Mexicans;  the  former  of  whom,  had  a  substitute 
in  their  "  Quipos,"  and  the  latter,  in  their  hiero- 
glyphical  or  symbolical  representations. 

The  utter  unacquaintance  of  the  aborigines  with 
the  use  of  letters,  and  every  method  of  recording 
historical  events,  is  more  to  be  regretted  than  may, 
at  first,  appear  to  the  reader.  For,  with  such 
a  rule  for  our  guidance,  the  origin  of  the  people 
might  be  readily  determined,  though  the  record 
should  not  deal  with  the  time,  manner  or  circum- 
stances of  their  migration.  The  only  account  the 
Edues  and  Cochimes  could  give  the  Religious,  re- 
specting their  original  country,  was  that  their  an- 
cestors had  migrated  from  the  north;  but,  as  the}r 
had  no  means  of  distinguishing  the  years,  or  of 
computing  the  time,  the  period  of  their  migration, 
and  the  term  of  their  abode  in  the  country,  could 
in  no  way  be  determined.  That  they  were  not, 
however,  the  descendants  of  the  original  inhabi- 
tants, is  almost  beyond  doubt;  for,  from  evidences 
which  remained,  it  would  seem  that  a  more  en- 
lightened and  intelligent  race  had  previously  in- 
habited the  peninsula.  Shortly  before  leaving  the 
country,  the  Jesuit  Fathers  discovered  in  the 
mountains  several  extensive  caves,  hewn  out  of 
the  solid  rock,  like  those  of  Elephanta,  in  southern 
Hindostan.     In  these,  painted  on  the  rock,  were 


representations  of  men  and  women,  decently  clad, 
as  well  as  different  species  of  animals.  One  of 
the  caves  is  described  by  a  missionary,  as  fifty  feet 
long,  fifteen  high,  and  formed  in  the  manner  of 
an  arch.  The  entrance  being  entirely  open,  there 
was  sufficient  light  to  observe  the  painted  figures. 
The  males  were  represented  with  their  arms  ex- 
tended and  somewhat  elevated,  while  one  of  the 
females  appeared  with  her  hair  flowing  loosely 
over  her  shoulders,  and  a  crown  of  feathers  on  her 
head.  The  natural  conclusion  deducible  from  this 
is,  that  as  painting  and  sculpture  were  entirely 
unknown  to  the  Californians,  at  the  time  of  the 
first  missionaries,  and  as  the  figures  were  not  rep- 
resentations of  the  people  then  inhabiting  the 
country,  the  male  population,  at  that  time,  entirely 
dispensing  with  clothes,  they  must  have  belonged 
to  another  and  different  race  from  the  modern  in- 
habitants. But  whence  this  race  had  migrated, 
how  long  they  inhabited  the  land,  and  whither 
they  finally  proceeded,  there  are  now  no  means  of 
determining,  except  by  conjecture.  The  only 
thing  approaching  to  certainty  is,  that  they  were 
less  savage,  more  enlightened,  and  of  greater  phys- 
ical stature.  The  latter  is  confirmed,  as  well  b^y 
the  assertions  of  the  inhabitants  themselves;  who 
unanimously  affirmed  to  the  Fathers  the  prior  ex- 
istence of  a  powerful,  gigantic  race,  as  well  as  by 
the  fossil  remains  found  by  the  missionaries.  As 
an  instance,  it  may  be  sufficient  to  mention,  that 

102  HISTORY    OF    THE 

at  the  mission  of  Kadakamong,  Father  Joseph 
Rotea  discovered  a  human  skeleton,  which  meas- 
ured about  eleven  feet ! 

The  cause  of  their  own  immigration  they  stated 
to  have  been  a  quarrel  excited  at  a  banquet,  in 
which  the  chiefs  of  several  nations  we're  engaged. 
This,  they  asserted,  was  followed  by  a  battle,  from 
which  the  vanquished  had  to  fly,  and  seek  refuge 
in   the  woods  and   mountains  of   the    peninsula. 
Whether  the  contest  referred  to  was  real  or  ima- 
ginary, is  entirely  unknown,  just  as  there  is  no  data 
forjudging,  supposing  it  to  be  true,  where  it  oc- 
curred.    This  was  the  only  account  they  could  fur- 
nish the  missionaries  respecting  their  origin  and 
emigration.     The  candor  displayed  in  acknowledg- 
ing themselves  the  descendants  of  the  vanquished, 
when  they  might  easily  have  pretended  to  be-  the 
offspring  of  the  conquerors,  speaks  strongly  in  favor 
of  the  truth  of  their  assertion.  The  ancient  Romans 
and  Carthagenians,  by  acknowledging  themselves 
the  descendants  of  conquered  races,  the  former  of 
the  Trojans  and  the  latter  of  the  Tyrians,  are  in- 
stances of  a  similar  candor.     Although  time  and 
research  have  failed  to  bring  forward  any  document 
or  monument  by  which  it  could  be  satisfactorily 
proved    that   this   portion   of  the  American  race 
emigrated  directly  from  Asia,  the  most  probable 
and  only  reasonable  conjecture  is  that  they  did. 

All  the  American  Indians,  if  we  except  the  na- 
tions referred  to  above,  whose  laws,   policy  and 


government  exhibited  a  certain  cultivation  of 
reason,  differed  very  little  in  capacity,  customs 
and  manners.  Their  chief  characteristics  are  stu- 
pidity, blindness  of  the  sensual  appetite  and  sloth. 
A  constant  love  of  pleasure  and  amusement  of 
every  kind,  however  trifling  or  brutal,  pusillani- 
mity, laxity;  and  a  most  wretched  want  of  every- 
thing tending  to  form  the  real  man,  and  to  render 
him  rational,  inventive,  tractable  and  useful  to 
himself  and  society,  is  the  character  drawn  of  them 
by  one  who  had  the  best  means  of  being  rightly 

The  Californian's  will  was  apportioned  to  his 
understanding.  All  the  powers  of  his  soul  seemed 
checked  in  their  infancy,  and  necessitated  to  move 
within  the  narrowest  sphere.  Ambition,  he  had 
none — patriotism,  none — love  of  religion,  none. 
Titles,  honor,  wealth  and  fame,  which  mean  so 
much  to  us,  and  are  the  springs  and  sources  of  ac- 
tion, either  for  good  or  evil,  were  unmeaning 
terms  in  his  regard.  To  see  a  companion  praised 
or  rewarded,  to  excel  at  the  chase,  the  dance,  or 
public  assembly,  seemed  to  be  the  only  check 
upon  sloth,  the  only  incentive  to  activity.  Ava- 
rice, that  most  destructive  of  passions,  had  little 
share  in  his  character. 

The  simplicity  of  their  lives,  and  the  fewness  of 
their  wants,  rendered  ambition  unnecessary.  The 
entire  extent  of  their  desires  was  to  obtain  suffi- 
cient food  for  the  passing  day,  relying  on  chance 

104  HISTORY    OF   THE 

for  a  supply  for  the  ensuing.  As  they  constructed 
no  regular  dwellings,  living  during  the  greater 
part  of  the  year  in  the  shade  afforded  them  by 
their  native  woods,  and  retiring  during  winter  to 
the  natural  caverns  found  on  the  coast,  and  in 
the  mountains,  their  articles  of  furniture  were 
neither  numerous  nor  luxurious.  They  consisted 
exclusively  of  those  instruments  necessary  for 
hunting,  fishing  and  war.  A  boat,  a  bow  and 
arrow,  a  dart  and  a  bowl,  were  among  their  chief 
articles  of  use.  A  bone  served  them  for  an  awl, 
a  net  for  canwing  their  fruits  and  their  children, 
and  a  couple  of  bits  of  hard  wood  for  procuring 
fire,  which  was  obtained  by  rubbing  them  briskly 
for  some  time  between  the  hands.  The  only 
difference  between  the  Indians  of  that  time  and 
this,  some  few  thousands  of  whom  are  still  scat- 
tered through  the  country,  is  that  the  latter  are 
more  civilized  in  the  manner  of  dress,  an  acquire- 
ment they  have  learned  from  their  contact  with 
their  American  neighbors. 

A  people  of  such  uneducated  habits,  whose 
minds  were  never  illumined  by  the  feeblest  ray  of 
religion  or  science,  are  necessarily  the  creatures 
of  fancy  and  impulse.  The  uneducated  savage  is 
in  many  things  a  child.  Fickleness  is  predomi- 
nant in  his  character;  his  anger  is  easily  aroused, 
while  fury  is  of  no  longer  duration  than  while  it 
meets  with  no  opposition.  A  people  of  this  kind 
is  a  nation  that  never  arrives  at  maturity.     The 


full  development  of  the  moral  and  physical  man 
is  the  united  work  of  religion  and  science. 

One  happy  result  of  the  deplorable  ignorance  of 
the  aboriginal  Californians  was  their  unacquaint- 
ance  with  the  use  of  intoxicating  drinks;  but, un- 
happily, they  found  a  partial  substitute  for  them  in 
the  smoke  of  an  herb,  with  which  they  were  accus- 
tomed to  become  inebriated  on  festive  occasions. 

106  HISTORY    OF    THE 


Government.  —  Power  of  Chiefs.  — Deess. —  Festivals.  —  Polygamy. 
Maeeiage  Ceeemonies. —  Caenivals. —  Feats  of  Skill. —  Methods 
of  Making  Wae.  — Religious  Ideas  Regaeding  the  Ceeation  of 
the  Woeld.  —  The  Chief  Ouiot.  ■ —  Idol-Worship  in  Upper 
California.  —  The  Temple  or  Vanqiteech  .  —  The  God  Chinigh- 
chinigh.  —  Tradition  Regaeding  the  Deluge.  —  Belief  in  the 
Immortality  of  the  Soul  and  the  Resurrection  of  the  Body. 

From  what  has  been  said  in  the  preceding  chapter, 
it  must  not  be  inferred  that  the  native  Californians 
were  destitute  of  every  natural  virtue.  Harshness, 
cruelty  and  obstinacy  had  little  or  no  part  in  their 
character.  History  represents  them  as  exceeding- 
ly docile,  gentle  and  tractable. 

Their  government,  if  the  name  be  applicable  in 
their  case,  may  be  judged  from  their  manners.  As 
they  had  no  specified  division  of  lands,  possessions 
or  immovables,  laws  were  unneeded  for  the  ad- 
justment of  rights  or  decision  of  cases  arising  out 
of  illegal  intrusions  or  unjustifiable  claims.  And, 
as  in  a  state  of  society  where  law  is  unknown  be- 
cause all  things  are  common,  the  power  of  the 
chief  was  naturally  limited.  The  punishment  of 
crime  essentially  implies  the  violation  oflaw;  and 
as  in  that  primitive  state  the  people  had  neither  a 
written  nor  a  traditional  code  whereby  their  ac- 
tions were  to  be  directed,  but  were  governed  en- 


tirely,  either  by  fancy  or  the  natural  obedience 
due  by  children  to  parents,  the  authority  of  the 
chief  was  in  consequence  more  nominal  than  real. 

But,  as  the  common  exigencies  of  their  state 
rendered  it  necessary  at  times  to  seek  counsel  and 
guidance,  the  brave,  the  artful  and  eloquent  were, 
by  common  consent,  appointed  as  leaders,  but  this 
dignity,  such  as  it  was,  was  never  the  appendage 
of  years,  family  or  formal  election.  The  duties  of 
the  chiefs  or  Caziques  consisted  mainly  in  giving 
orders  for  gathering  the  products  of  the  earth,  for 
conducting  the  fisheries  and  directing  the  military 
operations.  "The  leader  or  Cazique — writes  Father 
Venegas — conducted  them  to  the  forest  and  sea 
coast  in  quest  of  food;  sent  and  received  the  mes- 
sages to  and  from  the  adjacent  States;  informed 
them  of  dangers ;  spirited  them  up  to  revenge  of 
injuries  whether  real  or  feigned,  clone  by  other 
rancheros  or  natives,  and  headed  them  in  their 
wars,  ravages  and  depredations.  In  all  other  par- 
ticulars, every  one  was  entire  master  of  his  lib- 

A  people  who  live  by  the  chase,  and  are  utterly 
unacquainted  with  the  works  and  arts  of  civilized 
life,  cannot  be  supposed  to  be  in  the  enjoyment  of 
a  very  costly  and  elegant  wardrobe.  It  was  so 
with  the  Californians.  The  dress  throughout  the 
entire  country  was  almost  unique.  For  the  males 
whether  children  or  adults,  it  was  nil,  if  we  ex- 
cept bracelets  for  the  arms  and  an  ornament  in 

108  HISTORY    OF    THE 

the  shape  of  a  periwig  for  the  head.  As  such, 
dress  was  in  their  case  more  an  ornament  than  a  pro- 
tection of  virtue,  or  defence  against  the  inclemency 
of  the  seasons.  The  southern  inhabitants  were 
somewhat  in  advance  of  their  northern  brethren 
in  the  matter  of  finery,  for,  in  addition  to  the  orna- 
ments spoken  of,  they  generally  wore  an  orna- 
mented girdle  round  the  loins,  and  a  fillet  of  net- 
work on  the  forehead.  To  these  they  sometimes 
added  a  neckcloth*  embroidered  with  mother-of- 
pearl.  The  Cochimes  wore  the  hair  short,  except 
a  few  locks  on  the  crown  of  the  head,  which  they 
permitted  to  grow  long  like  the  Hindoos  of  British 
India  of  the  present  day.  These  also  wore  a  more 
elegant  head-dress  than  their  neighbors. 

It  is  not  to  be  supposed  that  the  state  of  naked 
simplicity,  so  akin  to  primitive  innocence,  had  any 
irregularity  in  their  eyes;  for,  when  requested  by 
the  Fathers  to  cover  at  least  what  modesty  de- 
manded, they  not  only  looked  upon  the  demand 
as  unreasonable,  but  even  became  highly  affront- 
ed. In  their  eyes  nothing  could  be  more  ludicrous 
than  one  of  their  number  dressed  up  in  our  fashion; 
to  do  so  was  only  to  expose  ones  self  to  the  jest  and 
ridicule  of  the  tribe.  As  an  instance :  one  of  the 
Fathers,  having  in  his  employ  a  couple  of  boys  in 
the  character  of  servants  and  catechumens,  thought 
he  could  not  more  effectually  inculcate  the  neces- 
sity of  modesty  than  by  clothing  the  lads.  Con- 
trary, however,  to  his  laudable  intentions,  they  no 


sooner  appeared  among  their  own,  than  they 
became  the  subject  of  general  ridicule  and  most 
indecent  remarks,  so  that  to  avoid  being  the  butt 
of  their  tribe,  they  doffed  their  newly-acquired 
raiment,  hung  it  upon  a  tree,  and  went  puris  natur- 
alibus.  Unwilling,  however,  to  show  themselves 
ungrateful  to  the  Father,  yet  unable  to  bear  the 
jests  of  their  companions,  they  compromised  the 
matter  most  conveniently  for  themselves  by  going 
naked  in  the  tribe,  and  clad  when  returning  to  the 

The  women  throughout  the  whole  of  the  coun- 
try appear  to  have  paid  greater  attention  to  mod- 
estjr.  With  hardly  any  exception,  they  seem  to 
have  worn  some  defence  of  their  virtue.  The  de- 
centest  and  best  clad  were  the  Edues,  who  inhab- 
ited the  southern  part  of  the  peninsula.  Their 
garments  consisted  of  a  gown  of  the  ordinary  kind, 
reaching  from  the  loins  to  the  feet,  and  formed 
from  the  leaves  of  a  species  of  palm-tree,  beaten 
into  flax  and  manufactured  into  thread.  Over 
their  shoulders  was  a  garment  of  similar  material. 
The  hair  was  allowed  to  flow  loosely  on  the  back, 
while  a  net  work  of  considerable  ingenuity  worn 
on  the  head,  bracelets  on  the  arms,  and  necklaces 
of  shells,  pearls  and  fruit-stones  extending  to  the 
waist,  gave  them  rather  a  handsome  and  attrac- 
tive appearance. 

The  Laymonides  women  had  a  still  more  meagre 
wardrobe.     They  only  made  use  of  a  garment  made 

110  HISTORY    OF    THE 

of  pieces  of  sedge,  which  descended  from  the  waist 
to  the  knees.  Sometimes  they  substituted  the 
skin  of  a  deer  or  other  animal,  which  their  hus- 
bands happened  to  kill  in  the  chase.  Like  the 
Edues,  they  wore  a  cloak  or  over  garment,  but  of 
a  different  kind,  made  from  the  skins  of  wolves, 
bears,  foxes,  or  the  like.  Tnis  mode  of  attire  is 
still  in  use  among  their  unconverted  descendants, 
for,  though  in  most  instances  they  have  learned  to 
dress  after  the  civilized  fashion,  I  have  frequent- 
ly seen  them  in  the  mountains  of  Nevada  clothed 
in  skins  used  as  a  cloak.  The  mode  of  carrying 
their  infants  is  now  the  same  as  before;  they  are 
slung  in  baskets  on  the  back.  From  what  cause 
I  am  not  aware,  but  their  families  never  appear  to 
be  great,  a  couple  or  three  children  being  the  most 
belonging  to  any  parent.  Little  though  their  in- 
tercourse with  Americans  be,  it  has  not  bettered 
their  morals  or  ameliorated  their  condition.  The 
use  of  intoxicating  liquors,  which  has  gone  far  to 
diminish  their  numbers,  they  have  learned  from  the 
white  man.  As  a  rule,  in  every  such  case,  the 
savage  learns  the  vices,  rather  than  virtues,  of  his 

As  the  people  had  no  regularly  appointed  sys- 
tem of  divine  woiship,  as  I  shall  presently  show, 
when  I  come  to  speak  of  their  religious  form  of 
belief,  their  festivals  or  gatherings  partook  more 
of  the  character  of  social  entertainments  than  of 
religious  assemblies.     One  of  their  principal  fes- 


tivals  was  the  day  set  apart  for  the  distribution  of 
the  skins  of  the  animals  taken  during  the  year  in 
the  chase.  The  delight  exhibited  on  these  occa- 
sions, by  the  fair  portion  of  the  community,  was 
in  keeping  with,  in  their  eyes,  the  importance  of 
the  occasion.  To  them,  a  mantlet  of  beaver  or 
rabbit  skin,  was  as  precious  and  as  much  the  beau- 
ideal*of  perfection,  as  a  silken  or  satin  one  would 
be  to  a  Paris  or  London  leader  of  fashion. 

On  the  festival  day,  all  the  neighboring  tribes 
and  rancheros  assembled  at  an  appropriate  place, 
where  they  erected  an  extensive  arbor,  the  ground 
in  front  being  cleared,  to  give  room  for  the  diver- 
sions of  the  people.  In  the  arbor  were  placed  the 
skins  of  the  animals  killed  during  the  year,  and 
spread  out  in  regular  order,  so  as  to  attract  the 
wondering  admiration  of  the  multitude.  None 
but  the  chiefs  were  permitted  to  enter  the  honored 
circle;  ignoble  blood  should  be  contented  to  re- 
main at  a  distance. 

At  the  entrance  of  the  arbor,  arrayed  in  his 
habit  of  ceremony,  stood  a  sorcerer,  who,  with 
animated  gesture  and  wild  vociferations,  duly  pro- 
claimed the  praises  of  the  hunters.  Meantime, 
the  people,  animated  by  the  words  of  the  orator, 
ran  hither  and  thither  in  the  wildest  confusion, 
laughing,  dancing,  shouting  and  singing.  The  ora- 
tion ended,  as  also  the  races,  the  skins  were  dis- 
tributed, when  the  whole  ended  with  a  fandango 

112  HISTORY   OF    THE 

or  ball,  in  which  every  principle  of  honor,  pro- 
priety and  virtue,  was  most  shamefully  outraged. 
I  have  already  remarked  that  this  people  passed 
their  days  in  the  open  air,  seeking  shelter,  in  sum- 
mer, from  the  action  of  the  sun,  in  the  shade  af- 
forded them  in  their  native  forests,  and  retiring,  in 
winter,  to  the  natural  caves,  found  in  the  moun- 
tains and  on  the  coasts.  It  is  also  equally  true, 
that  in  some  instances,  they  formed  what,  by  some, 
might  be  regarded  as  dwellings.  In  the  southern 
part  of  the  peninsula,  as  also  in  Upper  California, 
a  custom  prevailed,  of  constructing  little  huts  of 
the  branches  of  trees.  In  other  parts,  stone  en- 
closures, a  yard  high  and  a  couple  wide,  but  de- 
void of  a  roof,  served  like  purposes.  In  these 
meagre  enclosures,  the  people  generally  slept,  in 
a  sitting  posture.  At  present,  the  houses  in  use 
are,  as  I  have  remarked,  small,  conical  huts,  about 
four  feet  high,  formed  of  sage  brush,  a  kind  of 
stunted  shrub,  piled  loosely  around  a  number  of 
poles.  Though  thus  greatly  exposed  to  the  in- 
clemency of  the  seasons,  rheumatic  disorders  are 
almost  entirely  unknown  to  the  people.  More- 
over, it  is  to  be  observed,  that  the  civilized  life 
seems  injurious  to  their  constitutions,  for,  when 
any  of  their  number  are  induced  to  conform  to 
our  customs,  a  general  sickness  and  debility  is  cer- 
tain to  follow.  The  same  was  observed  by  the 
missionaries,  as  we  learn  from  Father  Clavijero, 
who  assures   us,    that    after   the  introduction   of 


Christianity,  the  Dumber  of  the  population  became 
considerably  diminished.  From  this,  we  might 
readily  conclude  that  much  of  what  civilization 
imposes  upon  us,  as  a  necessity,  is  more  the  effect 
of  our  training,  or  the  result  of  imagination,  than 
an  actual  want  of  our  nature. 

Polygamy,  or  the  custom  of  having  a  plurality 
of  wives,  was  admitted  and  practiced;  yet,  though 
adopted  by  the  people,  it  was  more  the  exception 
than  the  rule.  None  but  the  chiefs  availed  them- 
selves of  the  privilege.  Infidelity  to  the  matrimo- 
nial engagement  was  regarded  as  a  heinous  offence, 
except  at  their  festival  gatherings,  where  usage 
had  legalized  adultery,  by  granting  to  the  victor  in 
the  race,  the  dance,  or  the  wrestling  match,  this 
scandalous  privilege.  It  would  appear,  however, 
that  this  custom  prevailed  only  among  the  south- 
ern inhabitants;  for,  speaking  of  the  northern 
tribes,  a  missionary  describes  them  as  reserved  in 
their  manners,  and  entirely  free  from  debauchery 
and  illegal  amours. 

The  manner  of  forming  the  contract  of  mar- 
riage differed  with  the  various  localities.  In  one 
section  of  the  country,  it  consisted  in  the  bride- 
groom presenting  his  intended  with  a  bowl  made 
of  thread.  The  damsel's  acceptance  or  refusal 
formed  or  prevented  the  engagement.  If  the 
suitor  were  acceptable,  the  fair  one,  on  her  part, 
presented  him  with  a  net  for  his  hair,  the  work  of 

her   own    hands,   and   in  this  consisted  the  entire 

114  HISTORY    OF    THE 

ceremony.  Among  others,  the  covenant  was  made 
at  the  end  of  a  fandango,  which  the  lover  gave  in 
honor  of  his  intended,  and  to  which  the  entire 
tribe  was  invited. 

In  Upper  California,  the  negotiations  were  gen- 
erally conducted  on  more  business-like  principles. 
The  lover  repaired  directly,  propria  persona,  to  the 
house  of  his  inamorata,  or  loitered  in  the  vicinity, 
until  an  opportunity  presented  itself  of  his  address- 
ing his  beloved,  when  he  made  the  proposal  by 
saying,  "  I  desire  to  marry  you."  To  this,  the 
girl  invariably  answered,  "All  right;  I'll  tell  my 
parents,  and  you'll  know." 

Others,  of  a  more  timid  and  bashful  disposition, 
used  the  intervention  of  a  friend  to  learn  the 
lady's  intention,  when,  if  not  unfavorable,  the  as- 
sent of  the  parents  was  solicited.  Not  unfrequently, 
however,  the  parents  themselves  managed  the 
entire  matter,  leaving  the  girl  entirely  unconscious 
of  the  affair  until  they  addressed  her  as  follows: 
"  You  are  to  marry  so  and  so:  you  will  be  happy, 
because  he  is  an  excellent  young  man.  You  will 
have  plenty  to  eat,  because  he  knows  how  to  kill 
the  deer,  the  rabbit,  and  other  game."  A  third 
class  conducted  the  suit  on  different  principles, 
by  soliciting  in  the  first  instance  the  consent  of 
the  parents  or  guardians,  which,  when  obtained, 
the  girl  was  thus  addressed  by  her  father:  "My 
child  you  are  to  marry  such  a  one,  for  we  have 
given  you  away  to  him." 


From  the  moment  the  proffers  were  received, 
the  suitor  was  admitted  into  the  family  as  one  of 
the  household,  taking  upon  him,  at  the  same  time, 
the  obligations  of  providing  for  the  requirements 
of  all.  The  betrothed,  on  the  other  hand,  imme- 
diately assumed  the  character  of  matron,  attending 
to  the  domestic  affairs,  rising  at  dawn,  bathing, 
supplying  the  fuel,  and  preparing  the  repast,  all 
which  she  was  required  to  perform  alone.  Thus , 
the  young  man  had  an  opportunity  of  witnessing 
the  admirable  qualities  of  his  intended.  The  wed- 
ding feast,  which  always  lasted  between  three  and 
four  days,  was  attended  not  only  by  the  friends 
and  relatives  of  the  bride  and  bridesgroom,  but  by 
the  greater  part  of  the  village  or  rancheria  where 
they  lived.  It  was  celebrated,  according  to  cus- 
tom, at  the  residence  of  the  man,  where  a  tem- 
porary arbor,  capable  of  accommodating  a  large 
number  of  guests,  was  erected.  The  ceremony 
was  begun  by  some  of  the  chiefs,  accompanied  by 
a  few  of  the  matrons,  going  for  the  bride.  On  her 
arrival  she  was  divested  of  her  trinkets  and  super- 
fluous garments,  which  her  female  attendants 
claimed  as  their  legitimate  spoil.  Thereupon,  she 
was  placed  on  a  mat  by  the  side  of  her  husband, 
and  in  this  consisted  the  entire  ceremony.  They 
were  then  considered  to  be  validly  married.  Be- 
fore the  termination  of  the  feast,  during  which  the 
guests  occupied  themselves  in  dancing,  singing, 
and  other  amusements,  the  father  ordinarily  ad- 

116  HISTORY   OF   THE 

dressed  his  daughter  on  her  duties  and  obligations 
as  a  wife:  "Reflect,  that  you  are  the  daughter  of 
respectable  parents;  do  nothing  to  offend  them. 
Obey  and  serve  your  husband,  who  has  been  given 
to  you  by  Chinighchinigh.  Be  faithful  to  him, 
for,  if  you  are  not,  you  will  not  only  lose  your  life, 
but  we  shall  be  disgraced;  and,  if  your  husband 
does  not  treat  you  as  he  ought,  tell  us  and  you 
shall  come  back  and  live  with  us."  * 

The  matrimonial  engagements  were  not  consid- 
ered indissoluble.  The  parties  were  at  liberty  to 
withdraw  from  them  whenever  it  suited  their  con- 
venience. The  idea  of  a  perpetual  obligation  did 
not  enter  their  minds.  Nor,  indeed,  are  we  to  be 
at  all  astonished  at  this;  seeing  that  even  the  ad- 
vanced enlightenment  of  the  present  day  approves 
the  same,  albeit  the  Lord  hath  said  :  "  What  G-od 
hath  joined  let  no  man  put  asunder." 

Those  acquainted  with  the  history  of  Brazil, 
will  remember  a  custom  known  to  prevail  in  that 
country,  by  which,  contrary  to  every  law  of  na- 
ture and  reason,  the  man,  and  not  the  woman, 
was  supposed  to  suffer  the  pangs  of  parturition. 
In  this,  the  Californians  were  alike  remarkable,  for 
on  the  delivery  of  the  wife,  the  husband  affecting 
an  extraordinary  weakness,  lay  stretched  out  in 
his  cave,  or  under  a  tree,  while  the  unfortunate 
woman  was  left  to  shift  for  herself,  or  to  suffer  by 

(1)     See  Boscana. 


the  neglect.1  The  husband,  too,  suffered  on  his 
part,  for  custom  obliged  him  to  spend  several  days 
in  this  manner  on  the  meagerest  diet.  They  were 
prohibited  leaving  the  place,  except  for  water  and 
fuel.  The  use  of  fish  and  flesh  was  not  permitted 
them,  while  smoking  and  diversions  of  every  kind 
were  absolutely  unallowed.  One  of  the  unhappy 
results  of  this  ludicrous  custom,  or,  more  properly, 
unnatural  neglect  on  the  part  of  the  father,  both 
of  the  mother  and  her  offspring,  was  the  crime  of 
infanticide,  to  obviate  which  it  was  customary 
with  the  missionaries  to  allow  the  newly-delivered 
mothers  a  double  allowance  of  grain.  As  in  the 
Jewish  law,  the  widow  married  the  brother  or 
nearest  relative  of  the  deceased. 

In  addition  to  the  festival  referred  to  above, 
there  was  another  of  equal  if  not  greater  import-, 
ance.  which  they  celebrated  with  unusual  mirth 
and  rejoicing.  This  was  what  in  southern  Europe 
might  be  called  the  gathering  of  the  vintage,  but 
with  the  Californians  that  of  the  pithahayas)  an  in- 
digenous fruit,  on  which  they  mainly  relied  for 
subsistence  during  the  greater  part  of  the  year. 
The  gathering  lasted  during  the  principal  part  of 
one  quarter,  and  was  to  the  people,  in  a  great 
measure,  what  the  carnival  is  to  many  in  Europe. 
The  population  on  those  occasions,  remarks  Father 
Salva  Tierra,  threw  aside  whatever  little  reason 
they  had,  and  gave  themselves  up  entirely  to  feast- 

(1)     This  custom  was  not  confined  to  America.     Diodorus  Siculus 
speaks  of  a  like  observance  which  once  prevailed  in  Europe. 

118  HISTORY    OF    THE 

ing,  dancing,  and  buffoonery,  to  the  great  diver- 
sion of  all  the  spectators.  As  regards  their  dances, 
the  same  Father  tells  us  they  had  a  great  variety 
of  them,  and  that  they  acquitted  themselves  with 
much  gracefulness  and  agility.  Even  the  children 
were  brought  to  engage  in  these  festive  entertain- 
ments, and  showed  as  much  joy  at  having  cleverly 
performed  their  part  as  the  older  members  of  the 

The  occasion  of  these  festivals  was  generally 
whenever  fortune  smiled  on  their  efforts,  or  Provi- 
dence was  indulgent  in  their  regard.  Hence, 
upon  the  occasion  of  success  in  the  chase,  victory 
in  war,  a  plentiful  harvest,  or  the  birth  of  a  child, 
they  gave  expression  to  feelings  of  joy  in  a  dance. 
Connected  with  the  festivals  were  feats  and  trials 
of  strength,  in  leaping  and  running.  In  times  of 
peace,  the  greater  part  of  their  lives  was  spent  in 
that  fashion;  but  these  days  of  pleasure  and  enjoy- 
ment were  often  interrupted  by  wars,  factions, 
and  feuds,  in  which  the  whole  people  engaged. 
Nor  was  the  object  of  their  wars  the  desire  of  en- 
larging their  fame  or  possessions,  but  more  for  the 
purpose  of  revenging  affronts  and  defending  hered- 
itary rights  in  the  matters  of  fishing,  hunting,  or 
the  gathering  of  supplies.  In  the  management  of 
war,  they  were  as  unskilled  as  they  were  ignorant 
in  the  other  departments  of  life.  A  frightful 
noise  and  clamor,  in  which  all  engaged,  indicated 
the  commencement  of  hostilities.     Every  one  pre- 


pared  to  take  part  in  the  engagement,  provided 
himself  with  a  bow  and  arrows,  or  a  wooden  spear, 
carefully  sharpened  on  the  top,  and  hardened  in 
the  fire.  Firearms  they  had  none.  Their  mode 
of  attack  was  as  unskillful  as  their  ideas  were  rude ; 
without  regularly  disposing  their  men,  or  posting 
them  according  to  some  principle  of  war,  they 
rushed  forward  tumultuously,  and  engaged  without 
any  order,  except,  indeed,  that  one  body  was  kept 
in  reserve,  to  take  the  place  of  the  most  forward 
when  the  arrows  should  fail.  While  the  engage- 
ment was  conducted  at  a  distance,  the  arrows  were 
used;  but,  when  a  contest  became  close,  the  spears 
were^  brought  into  play.  The  numbers  slain  on 
these  occasions  were  oftentimes  considerable,  so 
that  in  several  instances  almost  entire  tribes  com- 
pletely disappeared. 

In  the  matter  of  religion  and  the  external  wor- 
ship of  the  Deity,  the  observances  of  the  inhabit- 
ants differed  exceedingly  in  parts.  On  the  arrival 
of  the  missionaries  in  Lower  California  no  formal 
idolatry  was  found  to  exist.  Neither  altars,  tem- 
ples, groves  or  other  appointed  places  of  religion 
were  anywhere  to  be  met  with  in  the  country; 
But,  though  destitute  of  every  outward  profession 
of  faith  in  the  character  of  public  and  private  ad- 
dresses to  the  Deity,  there  existed  among  them 
certain  traditional  notions  regarding  the  unity  and 
trinity  of  God,  the  fall  of  the  angels,  the  deluge, 

120  HISTORY    OF    THE 

and  other  articles  of  Christian  belief,  which  must 
be  a  matter  of  surprise  to  the  reader.1 

In  Upper  California,  on  the  other  hand,  idol- 
worship  was  commonly  practiced.  There  was  hard- 
ly a  village  or  rancheria  where  the  God  Chinigh- 
chinigh  was  not  worshiped  in  the  shape  of  a  stuffed 
Coyote.2  In  matters  of  religious  belief  their  no- 
tions, stripped  of  many  extravagances,  were  re- 
markably correct  as  regarded  the  leading  dogmas 
of  biblical  history.  Almost  identical  with  the 
Christian  idea,  they  held  that  the  creation  of  the 
world  was  the  work  of  an  invisible  omnipotent 
Being,  to  whom  some  gave  the  name  of  Nocumo, 
and  others  Chinighchinigh.  Having  created  the 
earth  and  all  organic  irrational  existence,  the  Deity 
next  formed  man  out  of  a  handful  of  dust,  and 
gave  him  the  name  of  Ejoni.  How  the  first  wo- 
man came  to  be  formed  they  were  unable  to  say, 
but  the  name  she  received  was  Ae,  a  word,  as  the 
reader  will  note,  not  very  unlike  the  Oriental 
"Hawa"  and  the  English  "Eve." 

Others  accounted  for  the  creation  of  the  world 
in  a  different  fashion.  According  to  them,  previ- 
ous to  the  existence  of  our  globe,  there  were  two 
others,  one  above  and  one  below,  which  stood  in 
the  relation  to  each  other  of  brother  and  sister. 

(1)  It  would  seem  that  on  some  of  the  islands  off  the  coast  idol- wor- 
ship was  practiced.  Speaking  of  the  island  of  St.  Catherine,  Torque- 
rnada,  the  Mexican  historian,  says:  "In  this  island  are  several  ranch- 
erias  or  communities,  and  in  them  a  temple  with  a  large  level  court 
where  they  perform  sacrifices."     (See  Torquemada's  Hist.  Mex.) 

(2)  The  Coyote  is  a  wild  animal,  something  like  a  fox. 


In  the  superior  world  all  was  light,  splendor  and 
magnificence,  and  in  the  inferior  all  was  darkness 
and  gloom,  there  being  neither  sun,  moon  nor 
stars.  In  time  both  were  united  in  marriage,  the 
result  of  which  was  the  present  earth,  with  all  its 
material  and  animal  life,  and  finally  man,  who  was 
called  "Ouiot."  What  is  especially  deserving  of 
notice  in  the  tradition  is,  that  the  creation  of  the 
world  and  of  all  animal  and  inanimate  existence, 
was  not,  according  to  the  Indian  belief,  the  result 
of  a  single,  but  of  six  different  births  in  the  man- 
ner referred  to,  and  hence  the  coincidence  be- 
tween this  and  the  Mosaic  account  as  given  in 
Genesis.  The  order  of  creation,  too,  according  to 
them,  is  worthy  of  remark.  First  earth  and  sand, 
next  rocks  and  stone,  then  trees,  afterward  grass, 
subsequently  animals,  and  finally  man. 

Ouiot,  who  became  a  great  and  powerful  leader, 
had  a  numerous  family,  though  it  is  not  stated 
whence  he  obtained  his  partner  in  life.  He  finally 
fell  a  victim  to  a  conspiracy  formed  for  his  de- 
struction by  his  people.  After  his  obsequies  were 
performed,  the  Lord  of  the  Universe,  or  Chinigh- 
chinigh,  appeared  in  the  form  of  a  spectre  to  his 
descendants,  and  gave,  them  power  over  the  ele- 
ments and  animal  creation,  enabling  them  at  pleas- 
ure to  procure  for  themselves  and  their  families 
those  objects  necessary  for  their  existence.  Then, 
from  the  clay  found  on  the  borders  of  a  certain 
lake,  the  omnipotent  Being  formed  a  man  and  wo- 

122  HISTORY    OF    THE 

man,  and  from  these  the  Indians  acknowledged 
themselves  descended.  Chinighchinigh  at  the 
same  time  gave  them  a  command  in  the  following 
words:  "Him  who  obeyeth  me  not  or  believeth 
not  my  teachings,  I  will  chastise:  to  him  I  will 
send  bears  to  bite,  serpents  to  sting,  misfortune, 
infirmities  and  death."  He  further  ordered  them 
to  erect  a  temple  to  his  honor  where  they  should 
worship  him  by  prayer  and  sacrifice.  The  plan  of 
the  building  he  dictated  himself. 

It  consisted  of  an  oval  enclosure  a  few  yards  in 
circumference,  within  which  a  rude  structure,  four 
or  five  feet  in  height,  formed  of  stakes,  branches 
and  mats,  was  erected.  Here,  elevated  on  a  species 
of  hurdle,  was  the  figure  of  Chinighchinigh,  It  was 
formed  out  of  the  skin  of  the  coyote,  or  prairie 
wolf,  carefully  removed  and  prepared  so  as  to  repre- 
sent the  living  animal.  Within  the  sack  was  placed 
a  great  variety  of  feathers,  horns,  claws,  beaks, 
etc.,  of  those  animals  taken  in  the  chase.  Arrows, 
too,  were  placed  in  the  body  of  the  idol,  whilst 
around  its  loins  was  a  species  of  under  garment 
such  as  was  used  by  the  captains  and  chiefs.  The 
respect  paid  to  this  ludicrous  object  was  of  the 
most  remarkable  kind,  the  people  being  careful 
when  in  its  presence  not  to  commit  the  most  trivial 
act  of  irreverence.  They  never  undertook  any 
work  of  importance,  never  engaged  in  war,  hunt- 
ing, or  amusement  of  any  kind,  without  first  wor- 
shiping the  idol.     The  worship  itself  was  as  singu- 



lar  as  the  figure  was  uncouth.  It  consisted  of  a 
species  of  silent  adoration  performed  puris  natural- 
ibus.  "When  in  his  presence,"  writes  Father 
Boscana,  "the  Indians  were  entirely  naked  and  re- 
mained for  hours  in  a  posture  equally  awkward 
and  fatiguing — a  sort  of  squat,  resting  their  heads 
generally  upon  their  right  hands,  without  moving 
during  the  ceremony  of  adoration." 

On  less  solemn  occasions  the  worship  was  of  a 
different  but,  perhaps,  more  ridiculous  kind.  It 
had,  however,  at  least  the  merit  of  being  an  in- 
spiriting mode  of  devotion.  It  was  conducted  in 
this  fashion :  A  figure,  not  very  artistic  in  its  out- 
line, having  been  formed  in  the  presence  of  the 
image,  all  the  men  of  the  tribe,  led  by  the  Cap- 
tain, ran  in  regular  succession,  till  arriving  at  the 
spot  where  the  leader  uttered  a  hideous  cry,  bound- 
ed high  into  the  air,  an  evolution  in  which  he  was 
followed  by  each  in  his  turn.  The  females,  on  the 
other  hand,  moved  slowly  up  to  the  figure,  to 
which  they  offered  their  homage  by  bowing  the 
head  and  presenting  their  bateas,  or  instruments 
required  for  the  expedition  on  which  they  happen- 
ed to  be  entering. 

The  privileges  of  the  temple,  or  vanqueeeh,  as  it 
was  styled  in  the  vernacular,  were  in  keeping  with 
the  respect  and  veneration  paid  it  by  the  people. 
Like  several  Christian  Churches  in  former  times, 
it  possessed  the  right  of  sanctuary.  Whoever  en- 
tered within  its  sacred  precincts   and  sought  its 

124  HISTORY    OF    THE 

protection,  no  matter  what  crime  he  may  have 
been  guilty  of — whether  theft,  adultery  or  murder, 
was  from  that  moment  supposed  to  be  free,  and 
could  appear  among  his  own  without  any  fear  of 
the  consequences  of  his  crime.  Should  reference 
ever  happen  to  be  made  to  the  act,  the  aggrieved 
would  merely  say:  "You  sought  the  protection  of 
Chinighchinigh,  which,  if  you  had  not  done,  we 
would  have  killed  you;  he  will,  however,  chastise 
you  one  day  for  your  wickedness." 

This  immunity  of  crime  was  founded  on  the  be- 
lief that  the  Deity  would  not  suffer  any  one  to  be 
molested  who  sought  his  protection.  It  is  proper 
to  observe  that  the  God,  Chinighchinigh,  who  was 
known  under  the  triple  appellation  of  Saor,Quaguar 
and  Tobet,  was,  according  their  belief,  a  spirit  and 
immortal,  and  yet  underwent  the  penalty  of  death. 
Before  leaving  his  people  he  instructed  the  leaders 
in  everything  requisite  to  be  observed  by  his  fol- 
lowers. When  asked  where  he  desired  to  be  in- 
terred, his  answer  was  to  the  effect  that  he  would 
ascend  into  Heaven,  where  he  would  take  an  ac- 
count of  the  actions  of  all,  and  reward  and  punish 
them  accordingly.  "When  I  die  I  shall  ascend 
above  the  stars,  where  I  shall  always  behold  you ; 
and  to  those  who  have  kept  my  commandments  I 
shall  give  all  that  they  ask  of  me.  But  those  who 
obey  not  my  teachings,  nor  believe  them,  I  shall 
punish  severely.  I  will  send  unto  them  bears  to 
bite,  and  serpents  to  sting:  they  shall  be  without 


food,  and  have  diseases  that  they  may  die."  1  In 
short,  Chinighchinigh,  which  is  a  synonym  for 
omnipotence,  was  regarded  by  the  Indians  as  an 
omnipotent,  omniscient,  omnipresent  being,  the 
reward er  of  good  and  the  revenger  of  evil. 

It  is  certain  that  this  people  had  a  very  clear 
and  unhesitating  belief  in  the  deluge.  Their  tra- 
ditions and  songs  bear  the  most  undeniable  evi- 
dence of  it.  According  to  them,  the  sea  at  a 
time  rose  up  from  its  bed  in  the  deep,  rolled  in 
upon  the  land,  and  destroyed  the  entire  human 
race,  with  the  exception  of  a  few  who  had  betaken 
themselves  to  the  summit  of  a  lofty  mountain 
where  the  waters  were  unable  to  reach  them.  The 
cause  of  the  deluge  they  believed  to  have  been  the 
wickedness  of  Ouiot  and  his  followers,  upon  whom 
Chinighchinigh  took  vengeance.  The  circum- 
stances connected  with  it  were  embodied  in  their 
songs.  Ouiot,  who,  as  has  been  remarked,  was  a 
powerful  chief,  became  so  odious  to  his  people  on 
account  of  his  tyranny  and  oppression,  that  they 
applied  to  Chinighchinigh,  or  the  supreme  one, 
for  protection.  He  appearing  to  them  in  the  form 
of  a  spirit,  gave  them  power  to  destroy  their  op- 
pressors by  causing  a  ..general  deluge.  Addressing 
them,  he  said:  "Do  this,  i.  e.,  cause  it  to  rain,  and 
inundate  the  earth  that  every  living  being  may  be 
destroyed ."  2 

(1)  Boscana,  p.  256. 

(2)  See  Boscana. 

126  HISTORY    OF    THE 

The  tradition  goes  on  to  the  effect  that  the  rain 
fell,  the  rivers  rose,  the  seas  and  oceans  swelled 
and  passed  their  limits,  and  rolling  in  upon  the 
land,  ceased  not  till  they  completely  effected 
their  purpose  by  destroying  every  living  creature, 
except  those  capable  of  sustaining  themselves  in 
the  waters,  and  the  few  of  the  human  family  that 
sought  refuge  on  the  top  of  the  lofty  mountain  al- 
readv  referred  to.     Connected  herewith  was  also 


the  idea  that  such  a  calamity  would  never  again 
befall  the  earth,  for,  when  in  moments  of  anger, 
the  vindictive  and  revengeful  were  wont  to  solicit 
the  destruction  of  their  enemies  in  this  fashion, 
they,  on  the  other  hand,  were  accustomed  to  ex- 
press their  belief  in  the  pacific  disposition  of  the 
Deity  by  saying:  "We  are  not  afraid,  because 
Chinighchinigh  does  not  wish,  neither  will  he  de- 
stroy the  world  by  another  inundation.^ 

Respecting  the  resurrection  of  the  body  and  the 
immortality  of  the  soul,  there  is  no  doubt  but  the 
inhabitants  of  Upper  California  had  a  confused — 
imperfect  idea  thereof.  The  former  is  clear,  from 
the  fact  that  once  in  the  month,  on  the  appearance 
of  the  new  moon,  all  the  rancherias  assembled 
and  danced  as  on  a  festive  occasion,  singing  and 
shouting  at  the  same  time:  "As  the  moon  dieth 
and  cometh  to  life  again,  so  we  also,  having  to  die, 
will  live  again  f  thereby  expressing,  I  think,  their 
belief  in  the  resurrection  of  the  body.  Their  be- 
lief in  the  immortality  of  the  soul  is  inferred  from 


the  fact  that  when,  at  their  funeral  obsequies, 
the  body  was  burned.  The  heart,  according  to 
them,  was  never  consumed,  but  went  to  a  place 
destined  for  it  by  God.  By  the  heart  they  evi- 
dently meant  the  spirit  or  soul,  for  which  they  had 
no  word  in  their  language,  and,  as  their  ideas  were 
utterly  gross  and  material,  they  pictured  to  them- 
selves the  joys  of  the  world  to  come  as  those  of  an 
earthly  paradise,  something  in  the  manner  of  the 
Valhalla  of  the  Scandanavians,  or  the  Behisth  of 
the  Mahometans,  where  they  would  be  able  to  en- 
joy every  sensual  pleasure  and  gratification. 

128  HISTORY   OF   THE 


Californian  Pagan  Pkiests. —  Their  Knowledge  r0F  Medicine. — 
Treatment  of  Patients.  —  Mode  of  Disposing  of  the  Dead. — 
Influence  of  the  Priests.  —  Their  Decalogue.  —  Traditions 
apparently  Christian. — Mexican  Christian  Traditions. — The 
Deluge.  —  The  Cross.  —  Monastic  Establishments.  —  Virgin- 
ity. —  Fasts.  —  Baptism.  —  Confession.  —  Eucharists.  —  Cruci- 

As  the  reader  has  been  informed,  no  formal  idol- 
atry was  found  to  exist  in  Lower  California,  upon 
the  arrival  of  the  missionaries.  At  the  same  time, 
as  I  have  said,  they  had  certain  traditional  no- 
tions, which  specially  deserve  the  attention  of  the 
reader.  I  shall  first  speak  of  the  religious  teach- 
ers of  the  people,  and  then  of  the  religion  itself. 
The  Priests,  or  guides  of  the  multitude,  if  they 
so  deserve  to  be  styled,  belonged  to  one  or  other 
of  two  sects,  called  Tuparons  and  Niparons.  They 
also  went  by  the  name  of  Dichianochos  and  Va- 
mos,  or  Guamos.  Their  duty  was  to  preside  at 
festivals,  to  sing  the  praises  of  the  deserving,  to 
teach  the  children  destined  for  the  sacerdotal  of- 
fice, the  meaning  and  use  of  certain  figures,  repre- 
sented on  little  wooden  tablets,  which,  they  af- 
firmed, the  visiting  spirits  had  bestowed  upon  them. 
They  further  exercised  the  medical  faculty,  and,  as 
such,  combined  the  triple  character  of  priest,  bard 
and  physician.     From   the    communications  they 


were  supposed  to  hold  with  the  spirits,  their  au- 
thority among  the  people  was  great;  but  they  did 
not,  according  to  the  opinion  of  the  missionaries, 
hold  any  communication  with  the  evil  spirits. 
Their  imposture  was  entirely  confined  to  impress- 
ing the  people  with  the  belief  that  success  was  to 
be  acquired,  and  calamities  averted,  by  liberality 
to  them.  The  choicest  of  the  fruits,  and  the  best 
of  the  game,  were  supposed  to  be  theirs;  and, 
whenever  a  neglect  of  this  duty  was  shown,  it  was 
visited  with  an  invective,  in  which  sickness,  disas- 
ters and  death  were  liberally  threatened,  as  a  con- 
sequence, on  the  unhappy  delinquent. 

Their  supposed  knowledge  of  the  medical  art, 
served  to  increase  their  reputation  with  the  peo- 
ple. In  this,  the  multitude  only  followed  a  natural 
instinct;  for,  in  eveiy  instance,  the  hope  of  relief 
from  painful  distempers  leads  us  to  regard  with 
respect  and  veneration  the  subject  of  our  hopes. 
The  remedies  used  were  two-fold,  and  consisted  of 
external  appliances.  The  more  common  and  effi- 
cacious, was  the  fumigation  of  the  affected  member, 
by  means  of  a  stone  tube.  With  the  view  of 
dispelling  the  disease,  or  of  sucking  it  out,  the 
plrysician  applied  to  the  suffering  member,  a  pipe 
or  tube  formed  of  hard,  black  stone.  Through 
this  he  blew  the  smoke  of  the  cinnamon  or  wild 
tobacco,  which,  it  would  appear,  produced,  in  some 
instances,  a  beneficial  effect.  The  simple  process 
of  blowing  through  the  pipe,  was  also  resorted  to, 

130  HISTORY   OF    THE 

for  it  was  thought,  that  by  this  means  the  disease 
was  either  dispersed  or  exhaled.  The  remedies 
used  for  external  affections,  such  as  tumors,  swell- 
ings and  sores,  were  fomentations,  ointments  and 
plasters  of  different  herbs.  Should  the  patient 
happen  to  be  a  child,  its  little  finger  was  cut,  and 
the  blood  suffered  to  drop  on  the  part  diseased. 

In  other  parts  of  the  country,  the  medical  treat- 
ment, though  somewhat  the  same,  differed  a  little 
in  detail.  For  all  external,  cutaneous  diseases, 
the  application  of  certain  medicinal  herbs,  chiefly 
the  sage,  rosemary  or  nettle-plant,  was  the  only 
prescription,  while  for  internal  disorders,  fever, 
dysentery  and  the  like,  cold  water  baths  were  con- 
stantly resorted  to.  A  good  whipping  with  nettles, 
on  the  part  affected,  or  the  application  of.  a  goodly 
number  of  ants,  was  also  regarded  an  excellent 
remedy ! 

The  scientific  principle  on  which  the  medical 
faculty  acted  was,  that  the  various  diseases  under 
which  the  patients  happened  to  suffer,  were  the  re- 
sult of  the  introduction  of  certain  particles  into 
the  system.  Before  undertaking  a  cure,  they  were 
always  sure  to  perform  certain  superstitious  ob- 
servances, after  which,  the  entire  body  of  the  pa- 
tient was  carefully  examined,  when  the  unfailing 
result  was  certain  to  be  arrived  at — that  some  ex- 
ternal object,  some  bit  of  stone,  bone  or  other,  had 
entered  the  body,  and  was  the  cause  of  the  mal- 
ady.    The    operation   intended  for  removing  this, 


was  then  entered  upon.  It  consisted  in  wrapping 
the  patient  in  grass,  feathers,  horse  or  human  hair, 
blowing  at  the  same  time  toward  the  four  cardinal 
points,  and  uttering  certain  mysterious  sounds,  ac- 
companied with  antic  gestures.  This  done,  the 
medical  attendant  applied  his  lips  to  the  part 
affected,  and  pretended  to  suck  out  the  cause  of 
the  disease;  but,  if  this  proved  unavailing,  he  pro- 
ceeded to  the  still  more  ludicrous  extreme  of  at- 
tempting to  pluck  it  out  physically,  by  thrusting 
his  fingers  into  the  patient's  month. 

When  every  remedy  had  been  exhausted,  and 
the  patient  seemed  beyond  the  hope  of  recovery, 
the  friends  and  relatives  gathered  around,  and  gave 
expression  to  their  sorrow,  in  the  bitterest  and 
most  mournful  lamentations.  And  should  the  suf- 
ferer happen  to  slumber,  they  immediately  aroused 
him  by  beating  him  soundly  on  the  head  and  the 
body,  in  order,  as  they  thought,  to  keep  him  alive, 
though  to  others  such  a  proceeding  would  seem 
rather  calculated  to  produce  a  contrary  result. 
The  dead  were  either  buried  or  burned,  according 
to  the  particular  locality  in  which  they  happened 
to  live.  In  some  parts,  the  fashion  was  to  bury, 
in  others,  to  burn;  but,  in  both  instances,  all  the 
effects  of  the  deceased,  whether  bows  and  arrows, 
feathers,  skins  and  the  like,  shared  the  same  fate 
as  himself,  being  either  buried  or  burned,  accord- 
ing to  circumstances. 

The  authority  of  the  Californian  priest  was  es- 

132  HISTORY    OF    THE 

pecially  noticeable  on  public  occasions  when  a 
whole  tribe  or  rancheria  celebrated  a  festival.  It 
is  true  the  worship  of  God,  or  of  deified  mortals, 
did  not  enter  into  their  festivals,  for,  as  I  have  re- 
marked, they  had  no  formal  manner  of  worship. 
Their  gatherings  partook  entirely  of  social  assem- 
blies, wherein  the  people  regaled  and  amused  them- 
selves by  eating,  drinking,  dancing  and  buffoonery. 
The  presence  of  the  priest,  however,  habited  in 
his  sacerdotal  appointments,  gave  them  a  solemn 
and  imposing  effect,  and  obtained  for  the  Religious 
themselves  a  large  share  of  public  respect.  The 
sacredotal  garments  used  on  these  occasions  con- 
sisted of  a  cloak,  a  necklace,  a  mitre  and  a  fan. 
The  cloak,  which  somewhat  resembled  a  cope,  was 
made  of  human  hair,  and  completely  enveloped  the 
figure  from  head  to  foot.  The  hair  was  ordinarily 
obtained  as  fees  for  medical  attendance,  as  well  as 
for  the  matriculation  of  students  in  the  same  act. 
Hawks,  owls,  or  other  bird's  plumage  constituted 
the  material  of  which  the  mitre  was  composed, 
but  when  these  could  not  be  procured,  tails,  hoofs 
and  horns  of  quadrupeds  supplied  their  place. 
The  necklace  was  not  of  the  most  costly  or  elegant 
material,  being  merely  a  string  of  deers'  feet  hung 
around  the  neck.  These,  together  with  a  mon- 
strous fan,  and  the  inevitable  stone  tube  for  suck- 
ing the  patients,  constituted  the  whole  parapher- 
nalia of  a  Californian  pagan  priest. 

The  grotesqueness  of  their  general  appearance 


was  still  further  increased  by  daubing  their  faces 
and  bodies  with  different  colors.  The  reader  can 
readily  understand  how  such  remarkable  charac- 
ters would  be  looked  upon  and  revered  by  an 
utterly  ignorant  and  barbarous  race.  The  enter- 
tainment commenced  by  the  priest  smoking  the 
chucuaco,  or  pipe.  When  partially  intoxicated  he 
began  an  oration  accompanied  with  wild,  extrava- 
gant gestures,  on  the  greatness  and  importance  of 
his  tenets.  The  decalogue  was  not  the  same  in 
every  part,  but  in  substance,  as  favoring  them- 
selves, it  did  not  materially  differ.  Father  Ta- 
raval,  one  of  the  first  missionaries,  has  given  the 
following  as  the  code  of  one  of  this  class: 

1st.  The  people  were  not  to  eat  of  their  first 
hunting  or  fishing,  under  pain  of  being  disqualified 
from  hunting  or  fishing  in  future. 

2d.  They  were  not  to  eat  of  certain  fish. 

3d.  They  should  forbear  eating  particular  parts 
of  game — the  fattest  and  best — for  by  doing  so  old 
age  would  immediately  ensue.  Thus  the  best 
pieces  fell  to  the  priest,  but  as  they  were  advanced 
in  years  they  had  no  reason  to  fear. 

4th.  The  people  should  not  gather  certain  fruits 
as  belonging  to  the  Hechiceros. 

5th.  If  they  caught  a  stag  or  fish  of  unusual 
size  they  should  not  use  it,  as  it  belonged  to  the 
priest,  etc. 

Thus  it  will  be  seen  that  they  endeavored  to  en- 
force a  system  of  tithes,  nor,  indeed,  were  their  ef- 

134  HISTORY    OF    THE 

forts  unavailing,  for  the  people  seemed  to  have 
strictly  attended  to  their  injunctions.  While  de- 
livering their  tenets  they  pretended  to  be  inspired 
by  the  spirits,  and  even  at  times  would  have  the 
people  believe  that  they  were  the  spirits  them- 
selves. At  other  times  they  pretended  to  have 
been  in  Heaven,  and  to  have  conversed  with  the 
Deity.  To  prove  the  truth  of  their  assertions, 
they  were  wont  to  have  recourse  to  the  most  ludi- 
crous argument,  producing  a  morsel  of  flesh  which 
they  affirmed  they  received  from  the  Almighty, 
and  by  virtue  of  which  they  could," at  their  pleas- 
ure, deprive  any  of  their  hearers  of  life.  The  ter- 
mination of  these  feasts  was  the  most  odious  and 
shameful  in  the  history  of  the  world.  The  Roman 
Lupercal  alone  offers  a  parallel  to  the  horrible  de- 
pravity indulged  in  on  the  occasion.  "Inflamed 
(says  Father  Venegas)  by  gluttony,  intemperance 
and  dancing,  the  whole  concluded  in  the  most 
abominable  gratification  of  their  appetites,  all 
mingling  indiscriminately,  as  if  determined  to  vio- 
late every  principle  of  shame,  reason  and  mod- 

The  religious  convictions  of  the  people  next 
demand  the  attention  of  the  reader.  They  were 
remarkable  for  several  reasons.  Like  the  people  of 
Upper  California,  the  Pericues,  who  inhabited  the 
southern  part  of  the  peninsula,  held  the  Christian 
doctrine  respecting  the  existence  of  one  supreme, 
omnipotent,     omniscient    being,     the    creator    of 


Heaven  and  earth  and  all  things.  This  God, 
whom  they  called  Niparaya,  they  believed 
to  be  a  spirit  having  no  body  and  there- 
fore invisible.  He  had  a  spouse  named  Anayi- 
coyondi,  but  though  they  never  co-habited,  he 
had  by  her  three  sons: — one,  who  was  called 
Cuajup,  or  True  Man,  was  born  on  earth  in  the 
mountains  of  Acaraqui,  and  lived  a  long  time 
amongst  men  in  order  to  instruct  them.  He  was 
most  powerful,  had  a  great  number  of  followers, 
having  descended  into  the  earth  and  brought  them 
thence;  but  these  ungrateful  persons,  despising  his 
benefits,  formed  a  conspiracy  against  him,  put  a 
crown  of  thorns  upon  his  head  and  slew  him.  Though 
dead,  his  bod}'  still  remains  incorrupt  and  extreme- 
ly beautiful;  blood  constantly  flows  from  it.  he 
does  not  speak,  but  he  has  a  bird  through  which 
he  communicates. 

Their  tradition  regarding  the  fall  of  the  angels 
was  equally  remarkable.  There  happened,  ac- 
cording to  them,  in  former  time  a  tremendous 
battle  between  the  celestial  powers.  A  powerful 
personage,  whom  some  called  Tuparon  but  others 
Bac,  or  Wac,  conspired  with  several  companions 
against  the  Supreme  Niparaya.  In  a  battle  which 
followed,  Bac  was  overcome,  driven  out  of  Heaven, 
and  confined,  with  his  followers,  in  a  cave  under 
the  earth.  They  further  added,  that  all  quarreling, 
fighting,  and  bloodshed  were  displeasing  to  Tupa- 
ron, but   agreeable  to  Bac,  for  all  who  die  under 

136  HISTORY   OF    THE 

such  circumstances  go  to  bis  kingdom,  and  become 
subject  to  his  dominion.  The  primary  consequence 
of  this  doctrine  naturally  led  to  two  classes  or 
sects  among  the  people.  The  one  siding  with  Ni- 
paraya  were  grave,  circumspect  and  humane; 
while  those  who  espoused  the  principles  of  Tupa- 
ron  were  false,  deceitful,  and  bloodthirsty.  With 
the  former,  the  missionaries  had  little  or  no  diffi- 
culty in  prevailing  upon  them  to  accept  the  evan- 
gelical truths;  but,  with  the  latter,  their  labors 
were  for  years  in  a  great  measure  unavailing. 

The  Guacuros,  Laymones,  Monqui,  and  others, 
who  inhabited  the  midland  and  northern  part  of 
the  peninsula,  declared  their  belief  in  the  great 
Spirit  of  Spirits  whom  they  called  Guamongo,  and 
who  they  affirmed  dwelt  above.  They  had  no 
word  in  their  language  properly  to  express  Heaven. 
To  Guamongo  they  attributed  the  existence  of 
sickness,  infirmities  and  death.  He  sent,  they  be- 
lieved, in  former  times,  another  Spirit,  named 
Gugiaqui,  to  visit  the  earth  in  his  name,  and  to 
relieve  the  natural  wants  of  man.  This  Spirit  oc- 
cupied himself  during  his  mission  upon  earth  in 
sowing  the  fruit  trees,  and  in  forming  the  ba)^s 
and  creeks  along  the  coast.  He  was  attended  by 
inferior  spirits,  who  supplied  him  with  all  the 
necessaries  of  life,  in  the  shape  of  fish,  fruits  and 
berries,  for,  though  a  spirit,  he  was  not  exempt 
from  the  natural  wants  of  man.  During  some 
time,  while  he  remained  in  retirement  in  the  Bay 


of  Loretto,  he  occupied  himself  in  making  garments 
for  his  priests.  His  mission  accomplished,  he  re- 
turned to  the  north,  whence  he  came,  and  as- 
cended into  Heaven  ;  but,  before  leaving  the  earth, 
he  bequeathed  as  a  memorial  to  his  priests  a 
painted  tablet,  which  they  used  at  their  entertain- 
ments on  festive  occasions.  The  Gruacurian  Doc- 
tors also  affirmed  that  the  sun,  moon  and  stars 
were  not  what  they  appeared,  but  human  beings 
who  shone  in  the  firmament,  and  fell  daily  into 
the  sea  in  the  west,  but  swam  out  by  the  east. 

The  Cochimes,  who  were  the  most  numerous 
and  intelligent  of  all  the  aboriginal  tribes,  possessed 
a  still  more  remarkable  tradition  than  the  pre- 
ceding. They  believed  in  the  existence  in  Heaven 
of  an  omnipotent  being,  whose  name  in  their  lan- 
guage signified  "He  who  lives."  He  had,  they 
affirmed,  two  sons  begotten  unto  him,  without  any 
communication  with  woman.  The  first  had  two 
names,  one  of  which  implied  perfection,  and  the 
other  velocity.  The  title  of  the  second  was  u  He 
who  maketh  Lords."  Although  they  gave  the 
name  of  Lord  indifferently  to  all  three,  when  asked 
by  the  missionaries  how  many  spirits  there  were, 
they  answered  "only  one" — He  who  created 
heaven,  earth  and  all  things.  Like  the  Pericues, 
the  Cochimes  had  a  remarkably  clear  and  accurate 
idea  of  the  fall  of  the  angels.  Their  belief  in  this 
was  quite  in  accordance  with  the  divine,  revealed 
doctrine  of  the  Church.     The  Lord  who  liveth  ere- 

138  HISTORY   OF    THE 

ated,  they  said,  numerous  spirits,  who  revolted 
against  Him,  and  since  then,  are  both  His  and  our 
enemies.  To  these  spirits  they  gave  the  very  ap- 
propriate name  of  liars  or  deceivers.  Their  busi- 
ness was  to  be  ever  on  the  alert,  so  that  when  men 
departed  this  life  they  might  seize  them,  take  them 
to  their  own  place  of  abode,  and  thus  prevent 
them  from  ever  seeing  the  ''Lord  who  lives."  There 
was  also  a  tradition  current  among  the  more  north- 
ern Cochimes,  of  a  man,  who,  in  former  times,  came 
from  Heaven  to  benefit  the  human  race;  he  was 
called  "  Tamaambei ucambi  tevivichi"  which  signifies 
the  Man  from  Heaven.  They  could  not  say  what 
benefits  he  conferred  on  the  human  family,  or  if  he 
had  given  them  any  form  of  religion  or  worship; 
yet,  in  honor  of  the  event,  they  wore  accustomed 
to  celebrate  annually  the  Feast  of  the  Man  from 
Heaven.  The  festival  was  entirely  devoid  of  every 
semblance  of  worship,  and  consisted  merely,  like 
their  other  national  entertainments,  in  feasting, 
dancing  and  rejoicing.  For  some  da}rs  previous, 
the  women  were  occupied  in  gathering  such  fruits 
as  the  country  afforded,  in  order  to  regale  the  Di- 
vinity upon  his  arrival.  On  the  morning  of  the 
festival,  a  youth  was  secretly  selected  by  the  elders, 
and  told  how  to  perform  his  part.  Having  been 
painted  with  different  colors,  and  dressed  in  vari- 
ous skins,  he  was  privately  conducted  to  a  retired 
part  of  the  mountains,  where  he  lay  concealed  for 
some  time.     When  the  hour  arrived  for  making 


his  appearance,  he  showed  himself  on  the  summit 
of  one  of  the  neighboring  mountains,  and,  thence 
descending,  ran  rapidly,  till  he  joined  the  assem- 
bly. After  the  feast,  the  youth  returned  the  same 
way,  and  disappeared  among  the  hills.  A  portion 
of  the  people,  especially  the  females,  were  per- 
suaded that  their  visitor  was  what  he  pretended  to 
be — a  veritable  god.  The  Cochimes  also  celebrated 
annually  another  festival,  of  a  somewhat  kindred 
character.  The  departed,  whom  they  supposed  to 
inhabit  the  northern  regions,  came  annually,  ac- 
cording to  their  opinion,  to  pay  them  a  visit.  As 
in  the  former  instance,  the  females  were  obliged  to 
procure  large  quantities  of  supplies  for  the  occa- 
sion. When  the  anniversary  day  had  arrived,  the 
male  portion  of  the  community,  in  company  with 
the  dead,  who  were  supposed  to  have  favored  them 
with  their  presence,  assembled  and  feasted  on  the 
provisions,  while  the  women  and  children  remained 
at  a  distance,  weeping  and  lamenting  the  death  of 
their  friends  and  relatives. 

The  question  will  now  occur  to  the  reader, 
whence  the  ancient  California!]  s  obtained  these 
doctrines,  so  like  those  of  the  Christian  relig- 
ion, and  of  which  the  above  are  only  a  sample. 
Before  offering  any  opinion  in  solution  hereof,  it  is 
only  proper  to  observe,  that  these  were  only  a  part 
of  a  still  larger  body  of,  apparently  Christian,  tra- 
ditions, held  by  many  of  the  American  races  on 
the  arrival  of  the  Spaniards.     In  his  work  on  the 

140  HISTORY    OF    THE 

missions,  Charlevoy  speaks  of  a  tribe  on  the  north 
Atlantic  border,  whose  customs,  religious  tradi- 
tions and  observances  led  him  to  believe  them  the 
descendants  of  a  once  Christian  community.  In 
Mexico,  Central  and  South  America,  the  similarity 
was  found  to  be  still  more  striking.  Like  the  Cal- 
ifornians,  the  Aztecs  or  Mexicans  believed  in  the 
existence  of  one  supreme,  omnipotent  Being,  the 
Creator  of  Heaven  and  earth.  Their  tradition  re- 
specting the  great  cataclysm,  was  to  the  effect  that 
the  entire  human  race,  with  the  exception  of  two 
persons,  Coxcox  and  his  wife,  were  destroyed  by 
the  waters.1  These  were  represented  as  having 
been  saved  by  embarking  in  a  little  boat,  which  is 
represented  in  the  hieroglyphical  writings  as  float- 
ing; on  the  surface  of  the  waters.2  The  dove  and 
the  crow,  had  likewise  their  place  in  the  tradi- 
tions, the  crow  which,  according  to  them,  was  an 
eagle,  being  said  to  have  acted  exactly  as  repre- 
sented in  Scripture. 

But  it  was  not  merely  of  the  Biblical  facts  of 
ancient  history  that  the  Spaniards  found  a  record 
amongst  the  people,  and  of  which,  no  doubt,  a 
knowledge  might  have  been  had  without  an  ac- 
quaintance   with    the    Christian   religion.     They 

(1)  "They  said  that  when  mankind  were  overwhelmed  with  the 
deluge,  none  were  preserved  but  a  man  called  Coxcox,  to  whom  others 
gave  the  name  of  Teocipactli,  and  a  woman  called  Xochiquetzel,  who 
saved  themselves  in  a  little  bark,  and  having  afterward  got  to  land 
upon  a  mountain,  called  by  them  Colhuacan,  had  there  a  great  many 
children."     Hist.  Mex.;  Clavijero:  vol.  I.,  p.  244. 

(2)  History  of  the  Conquest  of  Mexico:  Prescott.     Appendix,  p.  379. 


further  encountered  what  seemed  to  them  the 
most  incontrovertible  evidences  of  the  former  in- 
troduction of  Christianity  into  the  country.  What 
first  arrested  their  attention  and  led  them  to  such 
a  conclusion,  was  the  existence  and  frequency  of 
the  cross  which  met  them  on  all  sides.  Every- 
where throughout  the  entire  of  the  Mexican  Em- 
pire this  symbol  of  our  holy  religion  was  worship- 
ed and  adored  by  the  people.  It  was  raised  in  the 
villages,  cut  on  the  rocks,  erected  on  the  high- 
ways, and  adored  in  the  temples.  "  Hardly  had 
the  Spaniards,"  writes  the  learned  Dr.  Mier,  "ap- 
proached the  continent  of  America  in  1519,  and 
disembarked  in  Cozumel,  near  to  Yucatan,  when 
they  found  several  crosses  within  and  without  the 
temples,  and  in  one  of  the  court-yards  was  an  es- 
pecially large  one,  around  which  it  was  customary 
for  the  people  to  go  in  procession  when  asking 
favors  of  the  God.  This  was  an  especial  object  of 
veneration  to  the  people.  Crosses  were  also  found 
in  Yucatan,  even  on  the  breasts  of  the  dead  in  the 
sepulchres.  Hence,  it  was  that  the  Spaniards  be- 
gan to  call  that  place  New  Spain.'' l 

Yeytia,  another  learned  writer,  speaking  of  the 
same  period,  also  says:  "Cortes  found  a  great 
stone  cross  in  a  beautiful  enclosure,  which,  from 
the  most  ancient  times,  was  adored  in  Acuzamil 
or  Cozumel,  and  Groinara  affirms  that  that  place 
was  regarded  as  the  common  sanctuary  of  all  the 

(1)     Supplemento  al  Libro  Tercero  de  la  Conquista  de  Mexico,  por  P. 
Sahagun,  p.  277. 

142  HISTORY    OF    THE 

adjacent  islands,  and  that  there  was  no  villnge 
without  its  cross  of  stone  or  other  material.  They 
also  found  crosses  in  Chollolan,  in  Tollan,  in  Tex- 
coco,  and  other  parts."  * 

Prescott,  in  his  history  of  Mexico,  affirms  the 
same:  "He  (Fernando  Cortes)  was  astonished  also 
at  the  sight  of  large  stone  crosses,  evidently  objects 
of  worship,  which  he  met  with  in  various  places. 
Reminded  by  these  circumstances  of  his  own  coun- 
try, he  gave  the  peninsula  the  name  of  New  Spain, 
a  name  since  appropriated  to  a  much  wider  extent 
of  territory."  2 

There  was  even  a  temple,  called  the  Temple  of 
the  Holy  Cross,  where  that  sacred  emblem  was 
worshiped,  and  what  is  especially  deserving  of  at- 
tention is,  that  this  was  regarded  by  the  people  as 
the  most  ancient  temple  in  the  country.3 

Not  only  in  Cozumel,  Yucatan  and  the  neigh- 
boring provinces,  but  all  through  Mexico,  in  Brazil 
and  Peru,  the  same  remarkable  phenomenon  was 
observed.  "The}^,"  (the  Spaniards)  writes  Pres- 
cott, ''could  not  suppress  their  wonder  as  they  be- 
held the  cross,  the  sacred  emblem  of  their  own 
faith,  raised  as  objects  of  worship  in  the  temples 
of  Anahuac.  They  met  with  it  in  various  places, 
and  the  image  of  a  cross  may  be  seen  at  this  day, 

(l)Uistoria  Antigua  de  Mexico por  El  Lie.  D.  Mariano  Veytia:  vol.  1, 
p.  1G7. 

(2)  Hist..  Conquest  Mex.:  vol.  1,  p.  225. 

(3)  "  Y  etda  en  el  primer  templo  de  que.  hallo  memoria  en  las  hislorias  de 
los  Indios":   Veytia,  vol.  1,  p.  203. 


sculptured  in  bas-relief,  on  the  walls  of  one  of  the 
buildings  of  Palenque,  while  a  figure,  bearing 
some  resemblance  to  that  of  a  child,  is  held  up  to 
it  as  if  in  adoration."  *  For  the  fact  of  its  being 
found  in  Brazil  and  Peru  we  shall  see  further  on. 
The  existence  of  monastic  establishments  of 
men  and  women,  where  the  inmates  led  a  retired 
penitential  life,  did  not  fail,  in  like  manner,  to  ex- 
cite the  surprise  of  the  Europeans.  Both  in  Mex- 
ico and  Peru,  such  establishments  were  found.  "  I 
do  not  know,"  (writes  Joseph  Acosta,  in  his  History 
of  the  Indies)  "  that  in  Peru  there  are  any  proper 
houses  for  men,  but  for  the  priests  and  sorcerers, 
whereof  there  is  an  infinite  number.  But  it  seem- 
eth  that  in  Mexico  the  devil  hath  set  a  due  obser- 
vation; for,  within  the  circuit  of  the  great  temple, 
there  were  two  monasteries,  as  hath  been  said  be- 
fore, one  of  virgins,  whereof  I  have  spoken,  the 
other  of  young  men  secluded,,  of  eighteen  or 
twenty  years,  whom  they  call  Religious.  They 
wear  shaved  crowns,  as  the  Friars  in  these  parts. 
*  *  *  *  All  these  had  their  superiors,  who  had  the 
government  over  them.  They  lived  so  honestly, 
as  when  they  came  in  public,  where  there  were  any 
women,  they  carried  -their  heads  very  low,  with 
their  eyes  to  the  ground,  not  daring  to  behold 
them.  They  had  linen  garments,  and  it  was  law- 
ful for  them  to  go  into  the  city,  four  or  six  to- 
gether, to  ask  alms." 2     The  same  writer,  in  another 

(1)  Prescoti's  Hist.  Mcx. 

(2)  Lib.  5,  chap.  16,  p.  372. 

144  HISTORY    OF    THE 

part  of  Ids  work,  says:  "There  were,  in  Peru, 
many  monasteries  of  virgins — for  there  are  no  oth- 
ers admitted — at  the  least  one  in  every  province. 
*  *  *  Every  monastery  had  its  superior,  called 
Appapanaca."  The  same  is  vouched  for  by  Clavi- 
jero,  in  his  History  of  Mexico:  "There  were  dif- 
ferent orders  of  men  and  women,  who  dedicated 
themselves  to  the  worship  of  some  particular  god. 
Some  lived  in  community,  others  did  not,  but  had 
a  superior  in  the  district,  or  part  of  the  town  where 
they  lived;  they  used  to  assemble  in  a  house  at  sun- 
set, to  dance  and  sing  the  praises  of  their  god.  The 
most  celebrated  order  was  that  of  Quetzalcohuatl. 
There  were  men  and  women  of  this  order;  they  led 
a  most  rigid  life;  their  dress  was  very  decent;  they 
bathed  at  midnight,  watched  until  about  two  hours 
before  day,  singing  hymns,  etc."1  Speaking  of 
another  order,  a  kind  of  monastic  institution,  de- 
voted to*  the  worship  of  the  goddess  Centcotl, 
which  he  takes  to  signify  "  Our  Mother,"  the 
same  writer  says:  "They  lived  in  great  retirement 
and  austerity,  and  their  life,  excepting  their  super- 
stition and  vanity,  was  perfectly  unimpeachable. 
None  but  men  above  sixty  years  of  age,  who  were 
widowers,  estranged  from  all  commerce  with  wo- 
men, and  of  virtuous  life,  were  admitted  into  this 
monastery.  Their  number  was  fixed,  and  when 
any  one  died,  another  was  received  in  his  stead.2 " 

(1)  History  of  Mexico:  Clavijero.     Translated  from  the  original  Ital- 
ian, by  Charles  Cullen.     London,  1787.     Vol.  I.,  p.  277. 

(2)  Ibid. 


The  female  Religious  were  equally  remarkable 
for  the  purity  and  austerity  of  their  lives.  They 
took  vows  either  for  life  or  only  for  a  time ;  and 
what  is  worthy  of  attention  is,  that  upon  entering 
into  the  service  of  religion,  the  first  thing  required 
of  them  was  to  part  with  their  hair.  "  The  first 
thing  done  to  those  who  entered  into  the  service 
on  account  of  some  private  vow,  was  the  cutting 
of  their  hair.  Both  the  former  and  the  latter  (i.  e., 
those  consecrated  for  ever  and  only  for  a  time) 
lived  in  great  purity  of  manners,  silence  and  re- 
tirement, under  their  superiors,  without  having  any 
communication  with  men.  Some  of  them  rose 
about  two  hours  before  midnight,  others  at  mid- 
night, and  others  at  day-break,  to  stir  up  and  keep 
the  fire  burning,  and  to  offer  incense  to  the  idols; 
and,  although  in  this  function,  they  assembled  with 
the  priests,  they  were  separated  from  each  other, 
the  men  forming  one  wing  and  the  women  the 
other,  both  under  the  view  of  their  superiors,  who 
prevented  any  disorder  from  happening.  Every 
morning  they  prepared  the  offering  of  provisions, 
which  was  presented  to  the  idols,  and  swept  the 
lower  area  of  the  temple;  and  the  time  which  was 
not  occupied  in  these  or  other  religious  duties, 
was  employed  in  spinning  and  weaving  beautiful 
cloths  for  the  dress  of  the  idols,  and  the  decora- 
tion of  the  sanctuaries.  Nothing  was  more  zeal- 
ously attended  to  than  the  chastity  of  these  virgins. 

146  HISTORY    OF    THE 

Any  trespass  of  this  nature  was  unpardonable ;  if 
it  remained  an  entire  secret,  the  female  culprit  en- 
deavored to  appease  the  anger  of  the  god,  by  fast- 
ing and  austerity  of  life;  for  she  dreaded  that,  in 
punishment  of  her  crime,  her  flesh  would  rot."1 

The  office  of  priesthood,  though  performed 
equally  by  the  females  and  the  males,  was  limited 
in  the  case  of  the  former  to  the  keeping  of  the 
temples,  tending  the  fires,  and  offering  incense  to 
the  idols;  so  that,  in  reality,  they  stood  in  relation 
to  each  other  as  the  deaconesses  of  the  primitive 
Church  to  the  true  ministers  of  religion. 

Among  their  fasts,  which  were  very  numerous 
and  in  some  instances  lengthy,  varying  from  three  to 
one  hundred  and  sixty  days,  and  even  to  four  years, 
there  was  one  of  forty  days.  On  the  authority  of 
Torquemada,  we  learn  that  their  ideas  regarding 
the  future  state  in  the  world  to  come,  were  in  a 
great  measure  in  harmony  with  the  true  doctrine 
of  the  Church.2  But  the  most  striking  and  re- 
markable of  all  their  religious  observances  were 
those  of  which  we  are  now  about  to  speak.  Every- 
where throughout  Mexico,  in  parts  of  Central  and 
Southern  America,  a  species  of  baptism,  differing 
very  little  from  that  as  administered  in  the  Chris- 

(1)  Hist.  Hex.,  Clavijero:  vol.  I.,  p.  275-276. 

(2)  "Lo  opinion,  que  estos  Indios  Occidentals  tuvieran  a  cerca  de 
las  partes,  y  lugares  donde  las  Animas  iban  despues  de  haver  dejada 
aus  cucrpos  era  en  parte  conforme  a  la  verdad  Catolica  que  professamos 
los  que  tenemos  Fe  cierta  y  verdadera  de  la  Lei  de  Gesu  Christo  y 
en  parte  uni  erada":  Torqumtada,  lib.  13,  cap.  48,  p.  529. 


tian  religion  was  practiced  by  the  people.1  Father 
Ramesal  assures  us  that  when  the  first  Spaniards 
arrived  in  Yucatan, they  found  commonly  practised 
a  sacred  ablution  which  the  people  termed  a  "new 
birth,"  and  by  which  they  expected  to  arrive  at 
the  Kingdom  of  Heaven.  Such  importance  did 
they  attribute  to  this  rite  that  it  was  rarely  or  nev- 
er omitted.  "They  had  such  a  devotion  and  reve- 
rence for  it,"  says  Yeytia,  "that  no  one  failed  to 
receive  it.  They  thought  that  they  received  in  it 
a  new  disposition  to  be  good — the  means  of  es- 
caping damnation  and  of  attaining  everlasting 

In  the  territories  of  Texcoco,  Mejico,  Tlacopan, 
and  others,  there  were  certain  festivals,  at  which 
all  the  children  were  publicly  baptized,  but  it  was 
ordinarily  the  custom  to  baptize  on  the  seventh 
day  after  the  birth.  What  is  further  to  be  ob- 
served in  this  regard  is,  that  it  was  sometimes  ad- 
ministered by  infusion  and  sometimes  by  immer- 
sion.    It  seems  to  have  been  performed  twice  in 

(1)  "Es  Constante  que  en  todo  este  pais  se  hallo  establecida  una  es- 
pecie  de  bautismo  que  aunque  variaba  en  las  ceremonias  segun  loa 
lugares  en  lo  siistancial  eonveian  todos  en  este  banc-  de  agua  natural, 
diciendo  sobre  el  bautizado  algunas  formuelas,  conic-  preces  y  oraeiones 
y  poniendole  nombre  y  esto  observaban  como  rito  de  religion":  Veytia, 
vol.  1,  p.  181. 

"  No  solo  averiguaran  ellos  lo  mismo  que  Montejo  sino  que  los  In- 
dios  se  bautizaban  todos  sin  falto  dando  al  bautismo  el  nombre  de  renas- 
cencia  como  Tesucristo  le  llama  en  el  Evangelio:  nisi  quis  renatus  fuerit, 
etc. :  y  que  lo  recibian  con  las  mismas  ceremonias  de  los  Ckristianos 
hasta  imponiendo  el  lienzo  bianco,  y  con  ecsorcismas,  ayunando  antes 
tres  dias  los  padres  y  guardando  continencia  ocho  dias  despues,  y  con- 
fesandose  los  que  eran  grandecillos  como  en  la  primitiva  Iglesia  los 
catecumenos.  Y  todos  usaban  la  confesion  y  otras  muchas  ceremonias 
de  la  Iglesia."     (Sappkmento  al  Libro  Tercero  del  P.  Ldbagun,  p.  277.) 

(2)  Veytia' s  Hist.  Hex.,  p.  182. 

148  HISTORY    OF    THE 

the  case  of  every  infant: — first  privately,  immedi- 
ately on  the  birth  of  the  infant,  and  afterwards 
publicly  in  the  presence  of  the  friends  and  rela- 
tives. The  latter  was  by  far  the  more  solemn.  It 
was  the  midwife  who  officiated  in  both  instances. 
The  first  ceremonial  consisted  in  bathing  the  child, 
repeating  at  the  same  time  the  following  prayer — 
a  kind  of  invocation  to  Chalchinhcuego,  the  goddess 
of  childbirth :  "Receive  the  water,  for  the  goddess 
Chalchinhcuego  is  thy  mother.  May  this  bath 
cleanse  the  spots  which  thou  dearest  from  the  womb  of 
thy  mother,  purify  thy  heart  and  give  thee  a  good  and 
perfect  lifer  This  was  followed  by  another  and 
more  formal  address  to  the  same  Deity,  after 
which  the  midwife,  or  priestess,  took  up  the  water 
in  her  right  hand,  blew  upon  it,  wet  the  head, 
mouth  and  breast  of  the  child,  bathed  its  entire 
body  and  continued:  "May  the  invisible  God  de- 
scend upon  this  water  and  cleanse  thee  from  every 
sin  and  impurity,  and  free  thee  from  all  evil  for- 
tune;" and  then,  turning  to  the  child,  she  thus  ad- 
dressed it:  "Lovely  child,  the  gods  Oineteuctli 
and  Omecihuatl  have  created  thee  in  the  highest 
place  in  Heaven,  in  order  to  send  thee  into  the 
world ;  but  know  that  the  life  that  thou  art  enter- 
ing is  sad,  painful,  and  full  of  uneasiness  and  mis- 
eries ;  nor  wilt  thou  be  able  to  eat  thy  bread  without 
labor.  May  God  assist  thee  in  the  many  adversi- 
ties which  await  thee."  The  parents  were  then 
congratulated  on  the  birth  of  their  child,  and  the 


astrologers  consulted  regarding  the  time  considered 
to  be  propitious  for  the  second  ablution.  If  the 
sixth  or  seventh  days  were  not  regarded  as  such 
it  was  deferred  to  a  later  date.  Meantime,  all  the 
friends  and  relatives  were  invited  to  be  present 
at  the  ceremonies,  and  to  partake  of  the  banquet 
to  be  given  in  honor  of  the  occasion.  On  the  day 
appointed,  at  a  very  early  hour,  before  the  sun 
had  risen,  the  entire  household  and  guests  assem- 
bled in  the  court-yard,  in  the  middle  of  which  was 
placed  a  pitcher,  or  vase  of  water,  intended  for 
the  ceremony.  Having  lighted  a  number  of 
torches,  the  child  was  received  by  the  midwife, 
who,  after  a  certain  ceremonial,  such  as  turning 
her  face  to  the  west,  blowing  upon  the  water,  etc., 
sprinkled  the  head  of  the  child  with  the  water, 
saying:  "  0,  my  child,  take  and  receive  the  water 
of  the  Lord  of  the  world,  which  is  our  life,  and  is 
given,  for  the  increasing  and  renewing  of  our 
bodies.  It  is  to  wash  and  purify.  I  pray  that  these 
heavenly  drops  may  enter  into  your  body,  and 
dwell  there;  that  they  may  destroy  and  remove 
from  you  all  the  evil  and  sin  which  was  given  to  you 
before  the  beginning  of  the  ivor^ld,  since  all  of  us  are 
under  itspoicer,  being  all  the  children  of  Chalchivitly- 
cue"  l  The  midwife  next  bathed  the  entire  body 
of  the  child,  uttering  a  kind  of  exorcism  as  she 
proceeded,  in  this  fashion  :  "Where  art  thou,  ill 
fortune  ?     In  what  limb  art  thou  hid  ?     Go  from 

(1)     History  of  Mexico.    Clavigero,  vol.  1,  p.  317. 

150  HISTORY   OP   THE 

this  child."  And,  according  to  Sahagun :  "Whence* 
soever  thou  comest,  thou  art  hurtful  to  this  .child ; 
leave  him  and  depart  from  him,  for  he  now  liveth 
anew,  and  is  horn  anew ;  now  is  he  purified  and 
cleansed  afresh,  and  our  mother  Chalchivitlycue 
again  bringeth  him  into  the  world."  1  This  was 
followed  by  an  invocation  to  the  Deity  in  behalf 
of  the  infant :  "  0,  Lord,  thou  seest  here  thy  crea- 
ture whom  thou  has  sent  into  this  world,  this 
place  of  sorrow,  suffering  and  penitence.  Grant 
him,  0  Lord,  thy  gifts  and  thy  inspirations,  for 
thou  art  the  great  God,  and  with  thee  is  the  great 

Were  we  to  stop  here,  and  to  compare  the 
manifest  analogy  that  exists  between  these  reli- 
gious customs  and  observances,  and  those  of  the 
Catholic  Church,  the  suspicion  would  necessarily 
force  itself  on  our  mind  as  to  their  origin  and 
identity.  There  is  no  impartial  inquirer  that 
must  not  see  in  the  worship  of  the  cross,  in  the 
existence  of  monastic  establishments  and  the  ad- 
ministration of  a  baptism,  such  as  we  have  spoken 
of,  a  strong  similarity  with  kindred  observances  of 
our  holy  religion.  Indeed,  on  any  other  hypoth- 
esis, save  that  of  the  preaching  of  the  Christian 
religion  in  the  country,  it  would  be  difficult  to  ac- 
count on  satisfactory  grounds  for  the  existence  of 
such  practices  amongst  Pagans;  for  who  but  an 

(1)     Historia  de  Nueva  Espagna  Sahagun,  lib.  6,  cap,  37.    Hist.  Con- 
quest of  Mexico:  Prescott,  vol.  3,  p.  385. 


Apostle  would  have  taught  them  to  reverence  the 
symbol  of  the  Christian  religion;  who  but  a 
preacher  of  truth  would  have  taught  them  to  prac- 
tice that  most  difficult  virtue  for  man — continence; 
who,  in  fine,  would  have  taught  them  the  necessity 
and  efficacy  of  that  baptism  or  ablution  which  they 
administered,  and  by  which  they  hoped  to  attain 
life  everlasting  ?  And  the  suspicion  thus  created 
in  the  mind  as  to  the  origin  of  these  practices  is 
further  increased  and  confirmed  by  the  other  re- 
ligious observances  found  to  exist  in  the  country. 
On  the  first  arrival  of  the  Spaniards,  auricular 
confession  was  found  to  be  practiced  by  the  peo- 
ple. There  can  be  no  doubt  about  the  existence 
of  this  practice  in  the  country.  All  the  Spanish 
historians,  Sahagun,  Torquemada,  Garcia  and  oth- 
ers, speak  of  it  as  a  certainty.  Herrera  assures  us 
it  was  practiced  at  Nicaragua,  in  Central  America. 
Joseph  Acosta  tells  us  it  prevailed  in  Peru;  and 
Yeytia,  than  whom  few  are  more  reliable  and 
trustworthy  in  matters  of  history,  speaks  of  it  as 
being  in  use  in  the  Mexican  dominions.1  The  ob- 
ligation of  secresy  was  attached  to  the  rite,  and 
any  violation  of  trust  on  the  part  of  the  confessor, 
was  visited  with  the  severest  penalties.     The  pen- 

(1)  "They  confessed  themselves  almost  verbally  in  almost  all  the 
Provinces,  and  had  confessors  appointed  by  their  superiors  to  that  end, 
there  were  some  sins  reserved  for  the  superiors."  (Hist,  of  the  Indies  : 
Acosta.     Book  5,  chap.  25,  p.  398.) 

(1)  "  No  es  menos  notable  la  costumbre  que  hallaron  establecida  de 
confesarse  con  los  sacerdotes,  declarandoles  aquellas  cosas  que  tenian 
porculpas,  y  acceptando  la  penitencia  que  les  imponian:"  (Veytia  Hist. 
Mex. ) 

152  HISTORY    OF    THE 

ances  administered  were  often  very  severe,  espe- 
cially when  the  offender  was  poor,  and  had  noth- 
ing to  pay.  Attempts  to  conceal  anything  in  con- 
fession was  looked  upon  as  a  most  heinous  offence-. 
They  confessed  only  their  deeds  and  not  their 
thoughts,  thereby  leading  us  to  conclude  that  they 
ranked  only  the  former  in  the  category  of  sins. 
The  Confessors,  or  Ychuri,  as  the  Peruvian  Relig- 
ious were  called,  were  supposed  to  be  able  to  know 
whether  the  penitent  was  making  an  honest  con- 
fession or  not.  In  the  latter  case,  they  beat  him 
on  the  shoulders  with  a  stone,  till  he  made  a  full 
acknowledgment  of  all  his  misdeeds.  Besides  or- 
dinary times,  they  always  confessed  when  afflicted 
by  any  calamity.  Thus,  when  any  member  of  the 
family  happened  to  fall  sick,  the  entire  household 
confessed ;  and,  in  like  manner,  the  entire  prov- 
ince, when  the  Ingua  or  Monarch  became  ill;  but 
he  never  confessed,  except  to  the  Sun.1 

Prescott  asserts  the  same:  "The  great  cities 
were  divided  into  districts,  placed  under  the  charge 
of  a  sort  of  parochial  clergy,  who  regulated  every 
act  of  religion  within  their  precincts.  It  is  re- 
markable that  they  administered  the  rites  of  con- 
fession and  absolution.  The  secrets  of  the  confes- 
sional were  held  inviolable;  and  penances  were 
imposed  of  much  the  same  kind  as  those  enjoined 
in  the  Roman  Catholic  Churches." 

(1)     The  custom  in  Mexico  was  different,  for  there  they  confessed 
only  once  in  their  lives. 


The  address  made  by  the  priests  to  the  Deity 
and  penitent  respectively  on  these  occasions,  the 
penances  enjoined,  and  the  form  of  absolution  em- 
ployed, were  very  remarkable,  and  bore  a  striking 
analogy  to  those  of  our  holy  religion.  The  con- 
fession, it  is  proper  to  remark,  was  made  only  once 
in  one's  life  by  the  Mexicans;  for,  according  to 
them,  a  relapse  into  sin  was  inexpiable.  Hence, 
they  ordinarily  deferred  unburdening  themselves 
to  their  confessors  till  the  moment  of  death.  The 
belief  respecting  the  efficacy  of  the  rite  was  very 
remarkable.  By  it,  they  deemed  themselves  freed 
from  their  sins,  and  rendered  agreeable  to  God;  but 
only,  if  we  are  to  judge  from  the  words  of  the 
priest,  on  the  condition  of  being  contrite  of  heart, 
and  determined  not  to  relapse  into  sin  for  the  fu- 
ture. The  pardon  conveyed  to  them  by  the  min- 
isters of  religion,  it  is  also  proper  to  remark,  they 
regarded  as  only  a  delegated  act,  the  power  of  for- 
giving sin  being,  according  to  them,  proper  to  the 
Deity.  "  They  said  that  they  had  also  the  power 
to  pardon  them,  and  to  purify  them  from  their  sins, 
if  they  confessed  them  to  their  priests." 

Before  hearing  the  confession,  the  priest  made 
the  following  address  to  the  Deity:  "0  Lord, 
Thou  who  art  the  parent  and  most  ancient  of  all 
the  gods,  behold  this  Thy  servant,  who  presenteth 
himself  here  before  Thee  in  affliction,  with  much 
sorrow  and  great  grief,  for  having  erred  and  been 
guilty  of  crimes  worthy  of  death,  for  which  he  is 

154  HISTORY    OF    THE 

greatly  grieved  and  afflicted.  Most  Merciful  Lord, 
who  art  the  accepter  and  defender  of  all — receive 
the  repentance  of  this  Thy  creature  and  servant." 
Then  turning  to  the  penitent,  he  addressed  him 
thus:  "My  son,  thou  hast  come  into  the  presence 
of  the  most  merciful  and  beneficent  God:  thou 
hast  come  to  declare  thy  hidden  sins  and  crimes: 
thou  hast  come  to  open  to  Him  the  secrets  of  thy 
heart.  *  *  *  Lay  open  all  without  shame  in  pres- 
ence of  Our  Lord,  who  is  called  Yoattichectla,  that 
is  Tezcatlipoca.  It  is  certain  thou  art  in  His  pres- 
ence, although  thou  art  unworthy  to  see  Him,  al- 
though He  doth  not  speak  to  thee ;  for  He  is  in- 
visible and  not  palpable.  Take  care,  then,  how 
thou  comest,  what  kind  of  heart  thou  bringest;  do 
not  hesitate  to  publish  thy  secret  sins  in  His  pres- 
ence, recount  thy  life,  relate  thy  works  in  the  same 
manner  as  thou  hast  committed  thy  excesses  and 
offences.  Lay  open  thy  maladies  in  His  presence, 
and  manifest  them  with  contrition  to  Our  Lord  God, 
who  is  the  accepter  of  all,  and  who,  with  open 
arms,  is  ready  to  embrace  thee,  and  to  receive  thy 
confession.  Take  care  thou  dost  not  conceal  any- 
thing through  shame  or  heedlessness."  The  peni- 
tent then  solemnly  promised  to  declare  the  truth; 
after  which  he  proceeded  to  the  confession  of  his 
Bins.  This  clone,  the  priest  imposed  on  him  the 
penance  to  be  performed,  and  imparted  to  him  the 
absolution,  which  was  in  the  deprecatory  form,  as 
in   the  Greek   Church.      The  prayer,  which  was 


very  long,  begun  thus:  u0h,  Most  Merciful  Lord, 
protector  and  defender  of  all,  Thou  hast  heard  the 
confession  of  this  poor  sinner.  *  *  *  0  Lord, 
Thou  who  knowest  all  things,  dost  know  that  he 
has  not  sinned  with  entire  freedom  of  his  will,  but 
from  the  influence  of  the  sign  under  which  he  was 
born.  *  *  *  Then,  Most  Merciful  Lord,  graciously 
pardon  him,  cleanse  him  and  grant  him  the  pardon, 
forgiveness  and  remission  of  all  his  sins,  etc."1 

To  the  foregoing  we  will  add  an  account  of  one 
more  most  ancient  and  remarkable  custom — in- 
deed, the  most  remarkable  of  all.  I  allude  to  the 
feast  in  honor  of  the  god  Huitzlipochtli,  wherein 
a  ceremony  was  gone  through  and  an  offering 
made,  which  remind  us  very  forcibly  of  the  sacri- 
fice of  the  Mass  and  the  Holy  Communion.  That 
the  reader  may  not  accuse  us  of  a  too  hasty  and 
unwarrantable  conclusion,  we  give  the  account  as 
related  by  the  Spanish  historians:  "Nothing  is 
better  known,"  says  Veytia,  "than  the  offerings 
they  made  of  bread  and  wine,  that  is,  bread  of  un- 
leavened corn,  for  they  had  no  wheat,  and  that 
beverage  which  they  used  for  wine.  The  Mexicans 
celebrated  a  solemn  feast  in  honor  of  Centcotl,  the 
god  of  corn,  which  was  their  food,  and  they  did 
this  by  forming  the  body  of  this  god  in  a  human 
shape  from  a  lump  of  unleavened  corn  paste,  in 
which  they  mixed  some  herbs.  Having  baked  it 
on  the  day  of  the  feast,  they  took  it  in  procession, 

(1)     Vide  Sahagtin  IBstoria  General  de  Nueva  Espagna,  p.  12-13. 

156  HISTORY    OF   THE 

with  great  solemnity,  and  around  it  they  placed  a 
great  quantity  of  small  particles  of  the  same  com- 
position, which  the  priests,  having  blessed  with 
certain  formularies  and  ceremonies,  they  believed 
that  it  was  changed  into  the  flesh  of  that  god.  The 
feast  or  ceremony  being  concluded,  the  priest  dis- 
tributed all  that  bread  to  the  people,  in  small  par- 
ticles. All,  big  and  little,  men  and  women,  rich 
and  poor,  eat  of  it,  receiving  it  with  great  rever- 
ence, humility  and  tears,  saying  that  they  eat  the 
flesh  of  their  God ;  they  also  took  it  to  the  sick  as 
a  remedy.  They  fasted  for  four  days  previous, 
and  considered  it  a  great  sin  to  eat  or  drink  any- 
thing after  having  partaken  of  that  bread  until  af- 
ter mid-day.  They  even  concealed  the  water  from 
the  children  lest  they  might  drink.  This  was  the 
most  solemn  feast  that  they  celebrated ;  at  the  end 
of  it  one  of  the  elders  delivered  a  kind  of  sermon 
in  explanation  of  the  ceremonies."  1 

Dr.  Mier  is  equally  explicit  on  this  point.  "At 
the  same  time  exactly,"  says  Father  Sahagun, 
"that  we  celebrate  the  Pasque  the  Mexicans  cele- 
brated theirs  after  a  fast  of  forty  da)s,  during 
which  they  abstained  from  flesh,  wine  and  the  use  of 
matrimony.  A  public  penance  preceded  the  cele- 
bration of  the  Pasque.  The  reader  will  remem- 
ber that  public  penitents  were  formerly  reconciled 
to  the  Church  at  that  time.     Immediately  water 

(1)     Hist.  Antig  Mex.:  Veytia,  vol.  1,  p.  187-188.      Vide  etiam  Saha- 
gun XXI. 


was  solemnly  blessed,  as  we  Catholics  are  yet  ac- 
customed to  do  on  holy  Saturday — when  solemn 
baptism  was  formerly  administered.  Then  they 
made  from  seeds  the  statue  of  their  god  Huitzil- 
pochtli,  (not  of  any  other),  which,  according  to 
Torquemada,  had  to  be  made  in  the  Chapel  of  the 
Lord  of  the  crown  of  thorns,  whence  they  took  it, 
acccompanied  by  music,  to  the  principal  altar, 
watching  all  night  as  the  ancient  Christians.  All 
the  village  then  arrived  to  make  its  offering, 
after  which  the  priests  came  and  consecrated  the 
statue.  And  Torquemada  takes  notice  that  they 
made  use  of  for  this  purpose  certain  words  of  con- 
secration, and  that  from  that  moment  they  regard- 
ed it  as  the  very  flesh  and  bones  of  the  god 
Huitzilpochtli.  It  was  then  taken  in  procession, 
at  the  conclusion  of  which  the  priest,  who  pre- 
sided over  the  ceremonies,  and  who  necessarily 
represented  Quetzalcohuatl,  pierced  the  heart  of 
the  statue  with  the  point  of  a  spear — an  opera- 
tion they  termed  killing  their  god,  in  order  to 
eat  him.  That  was  the  signal  for  dividing  it,  four 
deacons  taking  from  it  to  the  parishes  of  the  four 
divisions  of  the  city,  in  order  to  give  communion 
to  the  people,  which  they  called  teocualo,  or  eating 
God,  and  the  Totonacas,  toyoliayatlacuatl,  or  eat- 
ing our  life,  and  they  received  it  with  much  devo- 
tion, compunction  and  tears,  taking  care  that  not 
a  crumb  should  fall  on  the  ground,  and  they  had 
to  be  fasting,  so  that  on  that  day  they  hid  the  wa- 

158  HISTORY    OF   THE 

ter,  through  the  whole  country,  from  the  children, 
who  also  communicated"  1 

In  fine,  there  was  another  great  festival,  on 
which  they  sacrificed  one  of  their  number,  by  at- 
taching him  to  a  large  wooden  cross,  and  piercing 
him  with  arrows.2 

To  what  we  are  to  attribute  the  origin  of  these 
customs,  whence  they  were  derived,  and  how  far 
they  may  have  connection  with  the  Christian  re- 
ligion, we  shall  investigate  in  the  subsequent  chap- 

(1)  Vide  Sahagun,  vol.  1,  Suplemenco. 

(2)  Hist.  Antig.  Mex:  Veytia,  vol.  I.,  p.  155. 



Probable  Sources  whence  the  Traditions  were  Derived.  —  Lord 
Kingsborough's  Opinion.  —  Adair's  Opinion.  —  Probability  of  St. 
Thomas  having  Preached  in  the  Country.  —  Traditions  to  this 
Effect.  —  The  White  Man  who  once  Ppeached  in  the  Country. 
—  Belief  in  a  White  Race  to  come.  —  Quetzalcohuatl  Identi- 
cal with  St.  Thomas. 

From  the  instances  adduced  in  the  preceding  chap- 
ter, and  others  of  a  like  nature,  many  have  been 
led  to  conclude  that  a  communication  must  have 
existed  between  the  Old  and  the  New  "World,  be- 
fore the  time  of  Columbus.  Others,  more  imagin- 
ative, as  Kingsborough,  and  Adair,  have  flattered 
themselves  with  having  found  a  satisfactory  ex- 
planation for  all  the  Mexican  and  Peruvian  customs 
and  traditions,  by  supposing  the  aborigines  de- 
scended from  the  Jews.  A  third,  and  by  no  means 
the  most  unreasonable  class,  would  have  us  account 
for  the  difficulty,  by  referring  it  to  the  natural 
constitution  of  man,  in  accordance  with  which, 
while  seeking  to  supply  a  craving  of  his  soul,  he 
may  have  been  led  to  the  adoption  of  such  prac- 
tices. Although  it  must  be  acknowledged  that 
this  is  not  entirely  devoid  of  foundation,  for  his- 
tory informs  us  of  peoples  on  whom  it  would  be 
difficult  to  show  the  light  of  Christianity  had  ever 
been  shed,  having  largely  adopted  customs   and 

160  HISTORY    OF    THE 

observances  of  a  similar  character;1  yet,  taking 
all  the  circumstances  and  co-incidents  into  account, 
and  especially  the  traditions  of  the  peoples  them- 
selves, respecting  their  origin,  of  which  we  shall 
presently  speak,  the  conviction  grows  strong  on 
the  mind,  and,  indeed,  seems  to  us  a  most  prob- 
able opinion,  that  these  doctrines,  customs  and 
observances  were  Christian  in  their  origin.  They 
were,  we  believe,  the  result  of  the  teaching  of  one 
of  the  Apostles  of  our  Blessed  Redeemer,  who,  in 
the  discharge  of  his  ministry,  visited  these  shores. 
The  arguments  in  support  of  this  theory,  we  shall 
presently  adduce,  after  laying  before  the  reader 
the  opinions  of  Catholic  writers  respecting  the 
probable  origin  of  the  ancient  Californian  tradi- 
tions and  customs. 

In  the  natural  and  civil  history  of  the  country, 
written  by  Venegas,  to  which  we  have  already  re- 
ferred, three  opinions  are  given  in  explanation  of 
these  doctrines  and  practices.  The  first  is,  that 
the  inhabitants  were  the  descendants  of  a  Christian 
people,  among  whom  the  true  doctrine  and  prac- 
tices of  religion  had  become  entirely  disfigured 
and  all  but  extinct.  Secondly,  that  they  were 
learned  from  the  Christians  who  landed  on  the 
coast  in  the  interval  between  the  discovery  of  the 
country  in  1536  and  the  arrival  of  the  Fathers  in 

(1)  For  the  worship  of  the  Cross  among  the  Egyptians,  see  Lipsius 
de  Cruce  Lutetoe  Parisiorum. — Humboldt  Oeographie  du  Nouveau  Conti- 
nent. For  Penances  and  Monastic  Establishments,  see  Hue  and  Gabet's 
Travels. — Humboldt  Vues  des  Cordilleres,  etc.     *     *     * 


1683.  And  lastly,  there  are  those  who  attribute 
their  origin  to  some  western  mariners  who, 
happening  to  be  thrown  on  the  coast,  were  neces- 
sitated to  live  in  the  country. 

According  to  the  first,  the  Californians  had 
migrated  from  the  north  and  entered  the  continent 
by  Asia.  This,  they  maintain,  is  borne  out  by  the 
traditions  of  the  people  themselves;  who,  as  has 
been  remarked,  constantly  affirmed  that  they  had 
come  from  the  north  and  found  the  country  inhab- 
ited before  them.  To  the  second  opinion,  which 
derives  the  faith  and  traditions  of  the  people  from 
the  presence  of  Europeans  within  the  interval 
spoken  of,  there  is  the  most  serious  objection,  for 
the  natives  in  all  cases  uniformly  affirmed  to  the 
Fathers  that  these  doctrines  had  been  transmitted 
to  them  from  time  immemorial.  .Nor,  indeed,  is 
it  at  all  probable  that  doctrine  of  such  a  nature 
would  come  to  be  commonly  adopted  in  that  man- 
ner, and  so  form  a  part  of  the  traditional  belief  of 
the  people. 

The  third,  and  most  plausible,  of  the  assertions, 
though  merely  a  conjecture  like  the  others,  that 
at  a  period,  now  entirely  unknown,  some  Chris- 
tians, happening  to  be  wrecked  on  the  coast,  en- 
deavored to  instill  into  the  minds  of  the  natives 
ideas  of  the  Christian  religion,  is  not  entirely  un- 
deserving of  attention.  But,  as  the  reader  will 
observe,  it  is  also  like  the  preceding,  open  to 



doubt,  being  merely  conjectural  and  entirely  un- 
supported by  any  common  or  local  tradition. 

What  we  require  to  determine  is,  not  the  time 
or  the  manner  such  doctrines  may  have  been  in- 
troduced into  the  country,  but  whether  in  reality 
they  were  Christian  in  their  origin,  and  how  they 
came  to  be  accepted  by  the  people.  As  I  have 
stated,  it  is  my  conviction  they  were  the  result  of 
the  teaching  of  one  of  the  Apostles  of  Our  Blessed 

Reasoning  on  general  grounds,  the  probabilities 
are  in  favor  of  this.  It  is  more  in  harmony  with 
our  idea  of  the  mercy  of  God  and  the  end  of  the 
Christian  religion,  to  suppose  that  the  means  of 
salvation  were  offered  to  all  from  the  beginning 
rather  than  after  the  lapse  of  several  hundred 
years.  Christ's  coming  upon  earth  was  to  be  a 
principle  of  life  to  all,  without  limitation  of  time 
or  place.  No  valid  satisfactory  reason  has  ever 
been  offered  why,  for  fifteen  hundred  years,  the  sav- 
ing truths  of  religion  should  have  been  withheld 
from  so  many  millions  of  the  human  race.  Those 
who  have  supported  the  contrary  opinion  have 
done  so  unwillingly,  and  more  from  an  unacquaint- 
ance  with  the  popular  traditions  of  this  country 
than  from  any  satisfactory  reasoning  of  their  own. 

The  various  passages  of  Scripture,  wherein  re- 
ference is  made  to  the  preaching  of  the  gospel, 
favor  the  same.  The  Evangelists,  Mathew,  Mark 
and  Luke,  speak  of  the  announcement  of  the  divine 


word  to  the  world  at  large  as  a  work  to  be  ac- 
complished apparently  by  the  Apostles  propria 
persona.  To  this  end,  before  separating  at  Jeru- 
salem on  their  important  commission,  they  divided 
the  world  between  them.  It  was  not  to  one  na- 
tion or  race  that  the  work  of  their  ministry  obliged 
them.  They  had  a  duty  to  perform  to  the  illiter- 
ate as  well  as  the  learned;  to  the  distant  as  well 
as  the  near;  to  the  savage  as  well  as  the  civilized. 
The  announcement  that  the  Son  of  God  had  come 
on  earth  as  the  Redeemer  of  Mankind  had  to  be 
made  even  unto  the  ends  of  the  earth.  And  in 
the  division  thus  made  of  the  world  by  the  Apos- 
tles, who  will  be  ready  to  say  that  they  excluded 
from  the  field  of  their  labors  the  one  third  of  the 
globe  ?  Did  he  who  commissioned  them  to  preach 
the  gospel  "to  every  creature,"  leave  them  igno- 
rant of  the  existence  of  this  part  of  the  world,  or 
unfurnished  with  means  to  arrive  on  these  shores? 
Had  not  the  poor  American  savages  a  share  in  the 
scheme  of  redemption  as  well  as  the  Greeks  and 
the  Romans  ?  Was  not  their  salvation  as  dear  to 
the  Saviour  as  that  of  the  other  inhabitants  of  the 
earth  ? 

Again,  it  is  the  opinion.of  some  of  the  most  em- 
inent doctors  of  the  Church  that  the  commission 
of  the  Saviour  to  the  Apostles,  "Go  teach  all  na- 
tions," etc.,  was  understood  by  them  in  a  general, 
and  not  a  particular  sense,  as  regarded  their  own 
immediate  ministry.     The  words  of  the  Saviour  on 

164  HISTORY    OF   THE 

other  occasions  certainly  favor  this.  Answering 
the  Apostles  touching  the  question  as  to  when  he 
would  restore  the  kingdom  of  Israel,  he  said:  "It 
is  not  for  you  to  know  the  time  or  moment  which 
the  Father  hath  put  in  his  own  power.  But  you 
shall  receive  the  power  of  the  Holy  Ghost  coming 
upon  you,  and  you  shall  be  witnesses  unto  me  in 
Jerusalem  and  in  all  Judea  and  Samaria,  and  even 
to  the  uttermost  parts  of  the  earth."  x  And  in  St.  Luke : 
"Thus  it  is  written,  and  thus  it  behooved  Christ 
to  suffer  and  to  rise  again  from  the  dead  the  third 
day.  And  that  penance  and  the  remission  of  sins 
should  be  preached  in  his  name  unto  all  nations, 
beginning  at  Jerusalem.  And  you  are  witnesses 
of  these  things."  2  In  the  latter  half  of  the  first 
quoted  passage  from  the  Acts  of  the  Apostles 
there  can  be  no  doubt  but  Christ  is  speaking 
of  the  Apostles  themselves,  and  not  of  their  suc- 
cessors, when  he  says,  "You  shall  be  witnesses 
unto  me  in  Jerusalem  and  all  Judea  and  Samaria." 
And  then,  continuing  the  prediction,  he  says, 
"and  even  unto  the  uttermost  parts  of  the  earth." 
So  that  the  same  persons  that  were  to  be  witnesses 
to  him  in  Jerusalem,  Judea  and  Samaria,  were 
also  to  be  witnesses  to  him  in  the  most  distant  parts 
of  the  world. 

The  same  is  implied  in  the  other  quotations. 
Penance    and    the   remission  of  sins  were  to  be 

(1)  Acts:  chap.  1,  v.  7-8. 

(2)  St.  Luke :  chap,  xxiv,  v.  46-48. 


preached  to  all  the  nations  of  the  earth  in  the 
name  of  the  Saviour,  and  the  Apostles  were  to  be 
the  witnesses  thereof.  No  doubt  their  successors 
in  the  ministry  were  also  to  be  witnesses  of  the 
truth,  but  by  pre-eminence  and  in  a  particular 
manner  were  the  Apostles  to  be  such,  for  the}T, 
and  not  any  others,  had  the  privilege  of  witnessing 
the  miracles  of  the  Redeemer,  of  hearing  the  doc- 
trine from  his  lips  and  of  receiving  their  commis- 
sion from  his  hand.  They,  in  consequence,  were 
more  admirably  suited  in  their  individual  capacity 
for  witnessing  to  the  divinity  of  the  Saviour  and 
the  truth  of  his  doctrine,  the  more  especially  still 
as  they  were  endowed  with  the  gift  of  tongues  and 
the  power  of  miracles. 

It  was  not  surely  of  the  successors  in  the  min- 
istry, but  of  the  Apostles  themselves,  that  St.' 
Mark  wrote  when  he  said:  "But  they  going  forth 
preached  everywhere,  the  Lord  working  withal,  and 
confirming  the  word  with  signs  that  followed."  1 
The  word  "everywhere,"  I  admit,  is  not  to  be 
taken  in  its  rigorous  sense ;  but  how,  even  morally 
speaking,  the  gospel  could  be  said  to  have  been 
everywhere  preached,  while  the  entire  of  the  New 
World — the  two  continents  of  America — were  ex- 
cluded, is,  indeed,  not  easy  to  be  seen. 

It  is  a  principle  admitted  by  all  in  the  interpre- 
tation of  Scripture,  that  the  literal  and  obvious 
meaning  is  to    be  taken  in  preference    to    every 

(1)     St.  Mark:  chap,  xvi.,  v.  20. 

166  HISTORY    OF    THE 

other,  unless  the  tenor  of  the  context  or  the  opposi- 
tion to  other  scriptural  passages  calls  for  another. 
But,  in  the  instance  before  us,  so  far  from  this  be- 
ing the  case,  it  is  more  in  accordance  with  the 
spirit  of  religion,  more  in  keeping  apparently  with 
the  goodness  of 'God,  and  the  general  tenor  of 

The  passage  on  which  some  have  founded  a  con- 
trary opinion  is  the  fourteenth  verse  of  the  twen- 
ty-fourth chapter  of  the  gospel  of  St.  Mathew: 
"And  this  gospel  of  the  kingdom  shall  be  preach- 
ed in  the  whole  world  for  a  testimony  to  all  na- 
tions, and  then  shall  the  consummation  come."  * 
The  consummation  here  spoken  of  they  take  to 
indicate  the  end  of  time  and  the  destruction  of 
this  world;  but  St.  John  Chrysostom,  Enthimius 
and  Theophylactus  interpret  it  as  only  having  re- 
ference to  the  destruction  of  Jerusalem  by  the  Ro- 
mans, before  which  time  they  maintain  that  the 
faith  was  preached  to  every  nation. 

The  Epistles  of  St.  Paul  to  the  Romans  and  the 
Colossians  also  favor  our  theory.  Speaking  of  the 
Law  of  Christ  and  the  necessity  for  all  of  submit- 
ting to  it,  the  Apostle  quotes  the  words  of  the 
Psalmist:  "Their  sound  hath  gone  forth  into  all 
the  earth,  and  their  words  unto  the  ends  of  the 
whole  world."  It  is  true  the  Psalmist's  words  are 
generally  interpreted  in  a  mystical  sense,  as  refer- 
ring to  the  celestial  powers,  but  the  applications  St. 

(1)     St.  Mathew:  chap.  24,  v.  14. 


Paul  intends  to  make  of  them  is  manifestly  in  re- 
lation to  the  preaching  of  the  gospel  as  clone  by  the 
Apostles.  For,  in  the  previous  verses,  he  had 
said:  "For  whosoever  shall  call  upon  the  name  of 
the  Lord  shall  be  saved.  How  then  shall  they 
call  on  him  in  whom  they  have  not  believed  ?  Or 
how  shall  they  believe  him  of  whom  they  have 
not  heard  ?  And  how  shall  they  hear  without  a 
preacher  ?  *  *  *  *  Faith  then  cometh  by 
hearing:  and  hearing  by  the  word  of  Christ.  But 
I  say,  have  they  not  heard  ?  Yea,  verily,  their 
sound  hath  gone  forth  into  all  the  earth,  and  their 
words  unto  the  ends  of  the  whole  world."  *  The 
reader  will  here  observe  that  the  Apostle  is  speak- 
ing of  the  Law  as  in  Christ,  and  the  necessity  for 
all  without  any  distinction  of  embracing  the  same. 
And,  as  if  any  one  might  excuse  himself  on  the 
plea  of  not  having  heard  it,  for  faith  cometh  by 
hearing,  the  sacred  writer  meets  the  objection  by 
affirming  that  the  world  at  large  had  heard  of  the 
gospel:  "But,  I  say,  have  they  not  heard  ? "  Yea, 
verily,  "their  sound  (i.  e.  the  preaching  of  the 
Apostles)  hath  gone  forth  into  all  the  earth,  and 
their  words  unto  the  ends  of  the  whole  world." 
How  an  Apostle  of  Christ,  a  man  inspired  by  God, 
could  solemnly  aver  that  the  preaching  of  the  gos- 
pel had  been  made  known  to  the  entire  human 
race,  that  it  had  reached  the  ends  of  the  earth, 
whereas  in  reality  it  had  not  been  made  known 

(1)     St.  Paul  to  the  Romans :  chap,  x.,  v.  13-18. 

168  HISTORY   OF   THE 

beyond  the  limits  of  the  Old  World,  is  a  difficulty 
we  leave  for  solution  to  those  who  denv  the 
preaching  of  the  gospel  in  this  country  from  the 

Equally  strong,  if  not  even  more  satisfactory 
still,  are  the  words  of  the  same  Apostle  addressed 
to  the  Colossians:  "Yet  now  he  hath  reconciled 
in  the  body  of  his  flesh  through  death,  to  present 
you  holy  and  unspotted  and  blameless  before 
him.  If  so  ye  continue  in  the  faith  grounded  and 
settled  and  immovable  from  the  hope  of  the  gos- 
pel which  you  have  heard,  which  is  preached  in  all 
creation  that  is  under  Heaven."1  And  to  the  Ro- 
mans: "  I  give  thanks  to  my  God  through  Jesus 
Christ  for  you  all,  because  your  faith  is  spoken  of 
in  the  ivhole  world."  Words  could  not  express  more 
emphatically  than  these  the  universality  of  the 
preaching  of  the  religion  of  Christ  by  the  Apostles. 
If  they  are  not  to  be  taken  in  their  literal,  obvi- 
ous sense,  some  satisfactory  reason  should  be  as- 
signed for  making  the  change.  But  in  vain  do  we 
look  for  any  such  reason,  the  only  assignable  pre- 
text being  the  absence  of  any  historic  account,  or 
the  difficulty  of  the  Apostles  reaching  the  shores 
of  the  Pacific,  as  if  the  words  of  the  Evangelists 
and  of  the  Apostles  were  only  to  be  taken  as  ex- 
pressing a  truth  when  supported  by  the  authority 
of  secular  history,  or,  as  if  the  difficulty  of  com- 
municating with  the  distant  nations  of  the  earth 

(1)     Colossians:  chap.  1,  v.  23. 


was  to  be  a  barrier  to  the  Lord  in  the  communica- 
tion of  his  gospel  to  the  whole  world  ! 

Judging,  then,  in  accordance  with  our  ideas  of 
the  infinite  mercy  and  goodness  of  God  who  or- 
dained the  Christian  religion  to  be  a  principle  of  life 
and  salvation  to  all,  in  accordance  with  the  general 
tenor  and  apparently  obvious  meaning  of  Scripture, 
expressed  as  well  in  the  charge  of  the  Saviour  to 
the  Apostles,  as  in  the  attestation  of  the  Apostles 
themselves,  it  seems  to  us  a  most  reasonable  and 
probable  opinion  that  the  Christian  religion  was 
preached  throughout  the  whole  world,  America 
included,  from  the  earliest  times. 

The  direct  evidence  bearing  upon  the  subject, 
also  leads  us  to  the  same  conclusion.  In  the  Mex- 
ican hieroglyphical  writings,  there  is  recorded  an  • 
account  of  a  great  solar  eclipse,  and  a  terrible 
earthquake,  which,  as  we  shall  presently  show, 
could  be  no  other  than  those  which  occurred  at  the 
death  of  the  Redeemer.  The  occurrences  are  rep- 
resented as  having  taken  place  at  the  end  of  the 
year,  at  mid-day,  there  being  then  full  moon.  The 
entire  solar  body  was  completely  hidden  from  view, 
and  the  darkness  became  such  that  the  stars  were 
visible,  and  the  day  turned  into  night.  At  the 
same  time,  a  terrible  earthquake,  such  as  never 
was  experienced  before,  shook  the  entire  country, 
rending  large  masses  of  rock  in  twain,  and  forming 
many  openings  in  the  land.  According  to  the  na- 
tive  historians,  these  occurrences   happened    one 

170  HISTORY    OF    THE 

hundred  and  sixty-six  years  after  the  correction  of 
their  calendar,  which  would  place  the  event  in  the 
year  of  the  world  4066.  The  chronology  of  the 
globe,  as  is  well  known,  differs  exceedingly,  as 
given  by  different  writers.  I  do  not  speak  of  the 
order t  as  stated  by  Berosus,  Sanconiathan,  Zoroas- 
ter, and  others  of  that  class;  but,  even  among 
Christians,  the  world's  chronology  varies  between 
three  thousand  and  some  hundred  years  and  six 
thousand  and  some  hundred.1  That  given  by 
Hauberto  and  Suarez  differs  very  little  from  the 
Mexican;  so  that,  without  doing  any  violence  to 
the  case,  we  have,  in  this  agreement  of  the  most 
eminent  Catholic  writers,  a  proof  that .  the  eclipse 
and  earthquake  noticed  in  the  Mexican  symbolical 
writings,  were  those  which  occurred  at  the  death 
of  the  Saviour. 

Some  years  after  these  remarkable  occurrences, 
which,  according  to  the  statement  of  the  native 
historians,  would  appear  to  be  the  sixty-third  year 
of  the  present  era,  there  came,  from  the  north,  a 
celebrated  personage — certainly  the  most  remarka- 
ble in  the  whole  of  Mexican  mythology.  He  is 
represented  as  a  ivhite  man,  with  flowing  beard,  of 

(1)  There  are  more  than  one  hundred  and  fifty  different  opinions 
regarding  the  chronology  of  the  world  from  the  creation  to  the  coming 
of  Christ.  They  vary  between  3,616  years  and  6,484.  The  principal 
are  these,  according  to  the  Vulgate  :  Usserius,  4004;  Eabbi  Nahasson, 
3740;  Scaliger,  3950;  P.  Petau.  3984;  P.  Tormel,  4052;  Eiccioli,  4184; 
P.  Labbe,  4053.  According  to  the  Septuagint:  Euselius  and  the  Roman 
Martyrology,  5200;  Vossius,  5590;  Eiccioli,  3634;  The  author  of  the  Al- 
phonsian  Fables,  6984.  (See  Encyclopedie  Catholique,  Tome  Septierne, 
p.  672.) 


a  good  stature,  clad  in  a  long  white  robe,  adorned 
with  red  crosses,   barefoot,  his  head  uncovered, 
and  a  staff  in  his   hand.1    He  was  Quetzalcohuatl, 
the  true  signification  of  which  we  shall  afterwards 
state.     The  universal  tradition  regarding  him  is, 
that  he  was  a  holy  and  venerable  man — that  he 
tanght  the  people  admirable  laws — the  suppression 
of  their  unnatural  lusts  and  desires,  the  hatred  of 
vice  and  the  love  of  virtue.     To  him  the  popular 
traditions  ascribe  the  worship  paid  to  the  Cross, 
the  continency  observed  by  the  Religious,  the  an- 
nual fast  of  forty  days,  the  practice  of  confession, 
and,  in  a  word,  all  the  customs  and  observances 
found,  on  the  arrival  of  the  Spaniards,  to  bear  a 
coincidence  with  those  of  the  Christian  religion. 
"  In  the  adoration  of  one  only  God,"  says  the  au- 
thor of  the  Historia  Antigua  de  Mexico,  u  he   en- 
lightened those  nations  in  the  knowledge   of  the 
most  adorable  Trinity,   the   coming  of  the  Son  of 
God  into  the  world,  his  birth  from  a  virgin,  and 
his  death  upon  the  cross — whose  powerful  sign  he 
caused  them  to  reverence,  inspiring  them  with  a 
great  hope  of  obtaining  by  its  means  an  universal 
remedy  for  all  their  evils." 

It  is  true  that  several  Catholic  writers,  even  of 
those  who  had  the  best  means  of  forming  an  accu- 
rate judgment,  have  formed  an  entirely  different 
opinion  of  this  remarkable  personage,  setting  him 
down  as  an  imposter,  a  magician,  a  necromancer.2 

(1)  See  Torquemada. 

(2)  See  Torquemada. 

172  HISTORY   OF   THE 

And  it  appears  that  they  had  been  led  into  this 
from  the  fact  that  his  name  is  intimately  asso- 
ciated with  several  idolatrous  customs  and  prac- 
tices, as  if,  amid  so  much  corruption,  it  were  pos- 
sible to  preserve  his  doctrine  intact.  If  he  were 
such  as  these  writers  represent  him  to  be,  there 
certainly  is  no  satisfactory  way  of  accounting  for 
the  doctrine  and  usages  that  he  is  credited  with 
having  originated.  It  is  also  to  be  borne  in  mind, 
as  has  been  already  remarked,  that  these  traditions 
and  religious  observances  were  not  confined  to  any 
particular  locality,  but  were  widely  diffused  through 
the  whole  of  that  part  of  the  two  American  con- 
tinents where  his  name  has  been  known,  and  where 
he  is  said  to  have  traveled.  Thus  Father  Joaquin 
Brulio  tells  us  of  a  remarkable  wooden  cross  in 
Peru,  which  had  been  worshiped  by  the  people 
from  time  immemorial,  and  supposed  to  have  been 
erected  by  this  venerable  man.  Speaking  of  this 
cross,  Father  Garcia  says,  that  when  Drake,  the 
English  commander  of  whom  we  have  spoken 
before,  arrived  on  the  coast,  he  endeavored  to  de- 
stroy it,  but  was  unable.  Three  several  times  he 
cast  it  into  the  fire,  and  three  times  it  came  forth 
entirely  uninjured  by  the  flames.1  He  then  en- 
deavored to  break  it  into  pieces,  but  in  this  he  was 

(1)  Allegre  says  that  Candish,  and  not  Drake,  was  the  person  who 
attempted  to  break  it.  Of  the  cross,  itself,  he  says,  "  The  cross  is  said 
to  be  of  an  extremely  heavy  wood,  and  different  from  anything  to  be 
found  in  the  province."  (See  Hisloria  de  la  Campania  dt  Jesvs  Nueva 
JEspana:  Allegre,  vol.  1,  p,  103.) 


alike  unsuccessful.  It  was  afterwards  translated 
to  the  city  of  Guaxara.  by  Bishop  Cervantes,  and 
was  there  venerated,  by  the  Christian  inhabitants, 
up  to  1836,  the  latest  date  of  which  we  have  any 
account.  A  smaller  cross  was  made  from  one  of 
the  arms,  and  placed  in  a  chapel  of  the  Discalsed 
Carmelites  of  the  town. 

The  Right  Rev.  Dr.  Las  Casas,  Bishop  of  Chiapa, 
having  instituted  an  inquiry  into  its  origin,  tells 
us  that  the  tradition  of  the  inhabitants  regarding 
it  was,  that  it  was  erected  in  that  place  by  a  ven- 
erable white  man,  with  a  long  beard,  flowing  white 
robes,  and  accompanied  by  several  companions. 
They  further  affirmed  that  he  was  the  man  who 
had  instructed  their  ancestors  in  those  doctrines 
and  practices,  which  were  found  to  resemble  those 
of  the  Christian  religion;  and  had  commanded,  that 
when  a  race  would  arrive  in  the  countiw,  which 
would  venerate  that  symbol,  they  should  accept 
their  religion.  By  the  Mexican  historians  it  is 
stated  that  he  himself  promised  to  return  with  his 
followers;  but  this  is  immaterial,  the  principal  part 
of  the  tradition  being,  that  his  followers,  or  de- 
scendants, white  men,  would  one  day  come  into  the 
country,  and  reverence  the  cross.  What  confirmed 
the  people  in  the  truth  of  his  prediction  regarding 
the  coming  of  the  whites,  was  the  prophecy  he 
made  regarding  the  fall  of  the  temple  of  Chollolan, 
which,  in  reality,  is  stated  by  the  nativejiistorians 
to  have  occurred  eight  days  after  he  left;  the  ruins 

174  HISTORY   OF    THE 

of  which  remained  till  the  time  of  the  Spaniards, 
as  an  evidence  of  the  fulfillment  of  his  words.1  It 
would  further  seem  certain  that  he  had  given  as  an 
indication  of  the  immediate  arrival  of  his  follow- 
ers— the  occurrence  of  certain  marvelous  events — 
for,  on  the  authority  of  Prescott,  we  know,  that 
in  consequence  of  certain  remarkable  occurrences, 
which  happened  shortly  before  the  arrival  of  Cor- 
tes, a  wide-spread  belief  existed  through  the  whole 
of  the  Mexican  Empire,  that  the  hour  had  arrived 
when  the  followers  of  Quetzalcohuatl  would  ar- 
rive in  the  country.  "  He  (Quetzalcohuatl)  prom- 
ised, on  his  departure,  to  return  at  some  future 
day  with  his  posterity,  and  resume  the  possession 
of  the  empire.  That  day  was  looked  forward  to 
with  hope  or  with  apprehension,  according  to  the 
interest  of  the  believer,  but  with  general  confi- 
dence, throughout  the  wide  borders  of  Anahuac. 
Even  after  the  Conquest,  it  still  lingered  among 
the  Indian  races,  by  whom  it  was  as  fondly  cher- 
ished, as  the  advent  of  their  king,  St.  Sebastian, 
continued  to  be  by  the  Portuguese,  or  that  of  the 
Messiah  by  the  Jews." 

A  general  feeling  seems  to  have  prevailed  in  the 
time  of  Montezuma,  that  the  period  of  the  return 
of  the  Deity,  and  full  accomplishment  of  his  promise, 
was  near  at  hand.  This  conviction  is  said  to  have 
gained  ground  from  various  preternatural  occur- 
rences, reported  with  more  or  less  detail,  by  all  the 

(1)     See  Veytia,  Hist.  Ant'iq.  Mex. 


most  ancient  historians}  In  1510,  the  great  lake  of 
Tezcuco,  without  the  occurrence  of  a  tempest  or 
earthquake,  or  any  other  visible  cause,  became 
violently  agitated,  overflowed  its  banks,  and,  pour- 
ing into  the  streets  of  Mexico,  swept  off  many  of 
the  buildings  by  the  fury  of  the  waters.  In  1511, 
one  of  the  turrets  of  the  great  temple  took  fire,  $ 
equally  without  any  apparent  cause,  and  continued 
to  burn,  in  defiance  of  all  attempts  to  extinguish 
it.  In  the  following  year,  three  comets  were  seen ; 
and,  not  long  before  the  coming  of  the  Spaniards, 
a  strange  light  broke  forth  in  the  east.  It  spread 
broad  at  its  base  on  the  horizon,  and,  rising  in  a 
pyramidal  form,  tapered  off  as  it  approached  the 
zenith.  It  resembled  a  vast  sheet  or  flood  of  fire, 
emitting  sparkles,  or,  as  an  old  writer  expresses  it, 
seemed  "thickly  powdered  with  stars.'7  At  the 
same  time,  low  voices  were  heard  in  the  air,  and 
doleful  wailings,  as  if  to  announce  some  strange, 
mysterious  calamity!  The  Aztec  monarch,  terri- 
fied at  the  apparitions  in  the  heavens,  took  coun- 
sel of  Nezahualpili,  who  was  a  great  proficient  in 
the  subtle  science  of  astrology.  But  the  royal 
sage  cast  a  deeper  cloud  over  his  spirit,  by  reading 
in  those  prodigies  the  speedy  downfall  of  the  em- 

•     „  "2 


It  is  then  undeniably  certain  that  a  popular  tra- 

(1)  LasCasas,  Hist,  de  las  Indias,  M.  S.,  lib.  3,  chap.  120;  Camargo, 
Hist,  de  Tlascala,  M.  S ;  Sahagun,  Hist,  de  Nueva  Espagna;  Acosta, 
Herrera,  etc. 

(2)  Hist.  Conquest  Mex.     Piescott,  vol.  I,  p.  313, 

176  HISTORY   OF    THE 

dition  existed  in  the  minds  of  the  people,  to  the 
effect  that  a  venerable  white  man  once  visited  the 
country,   taught   those    doctrines  and  customs  of 
which  we  have   spoken,  and  promised  one  day  to 
return  with  his  followers.     It  further  seems  evi- 
dent, from  the  local  traditions,  that  this  man,  who- 
ever he  may  have  been,  passed  through  California, 
Mexico,  Central  and  a  part  of  Southern  America. 
Speaking  of  the  traditions  of  Central  America, 
in  the  province  of  Yucatan,  Bishop  Las  Casas  as- 
sures us  that  the  natives  had  an  idea  of  the  prin- 
cipal mysteries   of  religion,   and  that  these  doc- 
trines   had  been    taught   them  by  the  person  of 
whom  we  are  writing.     A  very  intelligent  Indian, 
he  says,  having  been  questioned  as  to  the  doctrine 
of  the  people,  answered,  that  they  believed  in  one 
God  and  three  persons.     To  the  first,  whom  they 
called  Igona,  was  attributed   the  creation  of  all 
things;  Bacab,  the  second,  who  was  the    son    of 
Igona,  was  born  of  a  virgin,  Chibirias,  ivlw  is  now 
with  God  in  Heaven;  while  the  third  was  Echuah. 
The  circumstances  connected  with  the  life  of  the 
second,  are,  in  their  general  outline,  a  counterpart 
of  those   as   taught  by  the  Church  regarding  the 
Redeemer.     Respecting  the  latter  part  of  his  life 
the    tradition    was    to    the    effect    that   he    was 
made  to  suffer  exceedingly — was  cruelly  scourged, 
crowned  with  thorns,  put  to  death  upon  a  cross, 
buried,  rose  again,  and  ascended  to  his  father  in 
Heaven.     Then  came  Echuah,  to  fulfill  or  accom- 


plish  all  that  was  to  be  done.  This  doctrine,  they 
affirmed,  had  come  clown  to  them  from  the  re- 
motest ages,  and  had  been  taught  them  by  men 
who  arrived  there,  to  the  number  of  twenty,  the 
principal  of  whom  was  Colalcan,  a  venerable  man, 
with  flowing  beard,  white  robes  and  sandals,  and 
who  taught  them  to  fast  and  confess,  etc.1  These, 
and  the  religious  customs  and  practices  of  which 
we  have  spoken  before,  such  as  baptism,  penances, 
mortifications,  continency,  conventual  life,  and  es- 
pecially the  great  feast  resembling  the  Eucharist, 
are  all  supposed  to  have  been  introduced  and  es- 
tablished by  him. 

That  these  doctrines  and  practices  were  not  the 
result  of  the  teaching  of  an  impostor,  a  magician 
or  necromancer,  we  can  readily  believe;  for  what 
object  could  such  have  in  view.  But,  that  such 
doctrines  did  exist,  is  a  fact  beyond  all  doubt, 
resting  on  the  authority  of  innumerable  writers, 
who,  although  they  may  have  been  deceived  re- 
garding the  conclusions  to  be  derived,  could  not 
be  deceived  as  regarded  the  traditions  themselves. 
It  is  then  a  clear  and  indisputable  fact,  that  there 
existed  in  Central,  Southern,  and  parts  of  Northern 
America,  as  well  as  in  Mexico  and  California,  certain 
apparently  Christian  traditions,  customs  and  prac- 
tices, universally  believed  to  have  come  down 
from  the  earliest  ages,  and  to  have  been  introduced 

(1)     Veytia,  Hist.  Antig.  Mex. 

178  HISTORY    OF   THE 

by  him  who  was  known  as  Quetzalcohuatl,  a  white 
man,  who,  as  we  have  shown,  came  into  the  coun- 
try in  the  year  63  of  our  era.1 

Again,  on  the  arrival  of  the  Dominican  Fathers 
in  Mexico,  immediately  after  the  conquest  by 
Cortes,  they  found  with  a  chief  in  the  province  of 
Zapotecas  a  symbolical  writing,  said  to  have  been 
handed  down  from  time  immemorial,  in  which  we 
are  assured  were  contained  the  doctrines  of  the 
Christian  religion.2  Father  G-arcia,  a  Franciscan, 
on  whose  authority  the  above  has  been  given, 
further  assures  us  that  when  a  member  of  his  or- 
der happened  to  pass  through  the  village  of  Nijapa, 
in  the  province  of  Huaxaca,  the  Vicar  of  the  Con- 
vent, who  was  a  Dominican,  showed  him  some 
ancient  hieroglyphical  writings  containing  all  the 
principal  doctrines  of  the  Christian  religion  and 
the  coming  of  the  Apostle  to  the  country. 

Taking,  then,  into  account  all  the  customs,  tra- 
ditions and  practices  of  the  people,  it  seems  to  us 
a  most  reasonable  and  probable  opinion  that  the 

(1)  "Es  constante  y  uniforme  la  noticia  que  se  hallo  en  todas  estas 
gentes,  cle  que  el  fue  quien  les  ensegno  el  ayuno  de  cuarenta  dias,  que 
debian  observar  auuualniente,  la  niortificacion  y  penitencia,  disciplin- 
audose  las  espaldas,  brazos  y  pantorillas  con  abropos  y  espinas,  hasta 
deremar  sangre.  Les  exhorto  a  dar  limosnas,  y  scorrer  las  necessidades 
de  los  progenies,  baciendoles  entender  che  no  solo  debian  hacerlo  por 
acto  de  kurnanidad  sino  de  religion,  por  amor  de  Dios  y  en  su  obsequio 
sin  excepcion  de  personas ;  y  en  esta  materia  era  particolar  una  fiesta 
che  celebraban  los  Mejicanos  en  el  mes  Hueyte.cuilb.utl  en  honor  de  una 
de  sus  deidades  llamada  Xilomen  diosa  del  maiz  tierno."    Veytia,  p.  175. 

(2)  "Hallaron  en  un  lugar  llamado  Quichopa  en  poder  de  un  casique 
una  Biblia  de  solas  figuras  que  eran  los  caracteres  que  les  Servian  de 
letras  cuija  significacion  sabian  porque  de  padres  a  hijos  se  iban  en- 
senando  el  modo  de  enterder  aquelhis  figuras  y  este  libro  le  guardaban 
de  tiempo  muy  antiguo":    Veytia,  p.  174. 


Christian  religion  was  preached  in   this  country 
long  before  the  days  of  Columbus. 

What  is  now  incumbent  upon  us  is  to  show  that 
the  person,  Quetzalcohuatl,  who  is  said  to  have 
been  the  originator  of  all  the  doctrines  and  cus- 
toms alluded  to,  was  none  other  than  the  Apostle 
St.  Thomas.  For  the  truth  of  our  assertion  we  rely 
in  the  first  instance  on  the  true  signification  of  the 
name.  In  the  Mexican  and  Peruvian  annals  the 
names  of  all  celebrated  persons,  it  is  well  to  re- 
member, were  allegorical.  Although  at  the  mo- 
ment of  baptism  a  name  was  given  to  the  child,  it 
not  unfrequently  happened  that  another  was  con- 
ferred during  life  on  account  of  some  remarkable 
deeds  or  specialty  of  character.  Hence  the  ap- 
pellations by  which  the  kings  of  Texcoco  and 
others  were  styled. 

The  literal  signification  of  the  word  Quetzalco- 
huatl is  a  " peafowl-serpent"  or,  less  literally,  a 
feathered  serpent.  Metaphorically  it  meant,  as 
we  shall  show,  a  precious  twin.  It  is  composed  of 
two  words,  Quetzallin,  a  peafowl,  and  Cohuatl,  a 
serpent.  The  former  was  also  used  to  express  any 
kind  of  excellent  plumage,  the  peafowl's  being  the 
most  esteemed  and  most  in  use  to  adorn  the  head ; 
and,  as  we  know,  the  serpent  has  ever  been  regard- 
ed by  all  as  the  symbol  of  wisdom.  Hence  both 
words,  used  allegorically  as  a  single  appellative, 
came  to  express  the  mental  endowment,  wisdom, 
learning  and  respect  of  any  individual ;  so  that  to 

180  HISTORY    OF    THE 

say  he  was  a  richly  plumed  serpent  was  equivalent 
to  saying  he  was  a  man  of  talent,  much  esteemed 
and  learned. 

Luis  Becerro  Tanco,  in  his  work  on  the  appari- 
tion of  our  Lady  of  Guadaloupe,  tells  us  that  the 
word  Quetzalcohuatl  expresses  exactly  the  Apos- 
tle's name,  it  being  a  true  translation  of  it.  In  the 
Nahuatl  dialect  "  Cohuail"  which  signified  a  ser- 
pent, signified  allegorically  a  twin,  from  the  suppo- 
sition that  a  serpent  always  brings  forth  two  at  a 
birth.  Dr.  Siguenza,  in  a  most  learned  work,  which 
unhappily  has  been  lost,  supports  this  opinion,  and 
proved,  it  is  said,  most  satisfactorily,  that  Quet- 
zalcohuatl was  St.  Thomas,  but  as  this  work  is  not 
now  in  existence,  we  must  only  rely  on  the  strength 
of  our  own  proof  for  the  establishment  of  the  case. 
From  the  gospel  we  know  that  St.  Thomas  was 
called  Didymus,  or  the  twin.  The  Indians,  in  trans- 
lating the  word,  would  naturally  have  followed  the 
rule  adopted  toward  all  remarkable  men,  by  giving 
it  an  allegorical  rendering,  adding  as  a  mark  of 
respect  for  his  person,  Quetzallin,  which,  when 
added  to  Cohuatl,  signified,  allegorically:  "  The 
very  learned  or  much  esteemed  twin."  That 
Cohuatl,  or  twin,  was  really  the  name  that  they 
gave  to  him,  and  that  the  other  was  only  an  epi- 
thet of  veneration  is  clear,  from  the  fact  that  all 
his  disciples  forming  those  monastic  establish- 
ments of  which  we  have  spoken  as  existing  in  the 
country  on  the  arrival   of  the  Spaniards,  went  by 


the  name  of  Cocomes,  or  twins,  which  is  the  plural 
of  Cohuatl. 

It  is  also  a  very  remarkable  fact,  which  we 
learn  upon  the  authority  of  Father  Kirker,  in  his 
China  Illustrated,  and  which  is  spoken  of  by  Lu- 
rena  in  his  life  of  St.  Francis,  and  by  Garcia  in  his 
work  on  the  preaching  of  the  gospel,  that  on  the 
tomb  of  the  Apostle  at  Meliapoor,  in  the  Indies,  a 
peafowl  was  represented  holding  the  cross  in  its 
beak,  hereby  connecting  very  significantly  the 
name  of  the  Apostle  with  the  Quetzallin,  or  pea- 
fowl, of  which  we  have  spoken.  It  has  also  been 
positively  asserted  by  Calanche  and  Obalde  that, 
in  several  of  the  Mexican  phonetic  writings,  the 
true  name  of  St.  Thomas  has  been  preserved^ 

182  HISTORY    OF    THE 


Leading  Facts  connected  with  the  Histoet  of  Quetzalcohuatl. — 
What  he  Taught.  —  How  Banished. —  His  Prophecy.  —  Promis- 
ing to  Return.  —  A  White  People  to  Come. —  Phenomena  Prior 
to  the  Arrival  of  the  Spaniards.  —  Summary  of  Argument  in 
Favor  of  St.  Thomas.  —  His  Probable  Place  of  Landing.  —  How 
the  Doctrine  may  have  been  Corrupted.  —  Means  by  which  the 
Apostle  might  have  Arrived  in  the  Country.  —  America  known 
to  Europeans  before  Christianity.  —  Quotations  from  Hanno, 
Plato,  Aristotle,  Plutarch  and  Seneca. 

Independent  of  what  has  been  said  in  the  preced- 
ing chapter,  there  is  still  further  evidence  ot  a 
similar  character  leading  to  the  same  conclusion. 
The  great  similarity  between  the  general  character 
of  Quetzalcohuatl  as  represented  in  Mexican  myth- 
ology and  that  of  an  Apostle,  is  certainly  very  re- 
markable. It  would  be  idle  for  any  one  to  at- 
tempt to  deny  the  existence  of  those  popular  tra- 
ditions, which  represent  this  beneficent  man  as  vis- 
iting the  country  and  coming  from  the  west,  in 
compan}^  with  several  disciples,  for  the  purpose  of 
teaching  the  people.1  Although  known  under  dif- 
ferent names  in  different  parts  of  the  continent, 
the  general  character  is  so  clearly  defined  that  the 
identity  of  the  man  can  in  no  sense  be  a  subject  of 
mistake.  Hence,  it  is  universally  acknowledged 
that  Quetzalcohuatl  of  Mexico,  Cozas  or  Cocalcan 

(1)     Vide  Sahaguu,  Mier,  Prescott,  etc. 


of  Yucatan,  and  Viracocho  of  Peru,   are  one  and 
the  same  person. 

The  prominent  facts  connected  with  his  history, 
as  handed  down  from  time  immemorial,  are  exact- 
ly what  we  would  expect  to  meet  with  in  the  life 
of  an  Apostle.  According  to  the  popular  tradi- 
tion he  was  for  some  time  high  priest  of  Tula,  or 
Tollan,  a  town  situated  to  the  north  of  the  Mexi- 
can Valley,  and  once  the  capital  of  the  Empire  of 
the  Toltecs.  Hence  we  are  told  he  sent  forth  his 
disciples  through  all  the  neighboring  provinces  to 
preach  a  new  and  admirable  law,  the  leading 
points  of  which  seem  to  have  been  the  prohibition 
of  the  worship  of  idols  and  human  sacrifices,  the 
knowledge  of  the  triune  divinity  or  triple  godhead 
Tzentcotl,  Huitzlopochtli  and  Touacayohua,  pen- 
ance, fasts,  etc. 

Having  been  persecuted^  by  Huemac,  king  of 
that  place,  who  had  apostatized  from  his  religion 
and  put  several  of  his  disciples  to  death,  he  fled  to 
Cholula,  whither  being  pursued  by  the  implacable 
monarch,  he  passed  on  to  Yucatan,  where  he  left 
four  of  his  disciples  to  propagate  his  religion,  pro- 
ceeding himself  to  the  islands  in  the  vicinity,  which, 
from  that  time,  have  been  known  by  the  name  of 
the  place  where  the  "Twin  hid  himself."  After  a 
period  he  returned  to  Tollan,  but  finding  his  fol- 
lowers mixed  up  witli  the  people,  having  inter- 
married in  the  meantime  with  the  other  inhabi- 
tants of  the  land,  he  set  out  for  Huehuetlapallan, 

184  HISTORY    OF    THE 

prophecying  before  leaving  that  his  brothers  in 
religion,  white  men,  would  one  day  come  into  the 
country  to  rule  over  the  people  and  teach  them 
religion.  That  this  prophecy  was  widely  spread 
through  the  country  and  firmly  believed  in  by  the 
inhabitants,  there  cannot  be  a  shadow  of  doubt. 
Not  only  modern,  but  ancient  writers  attest  its  ex- 
istence. Sahagun,  who  wrote  at  the  period  of  the 
conquest,  speaks  of  it,  and  assures  us  that  on  the 
arrival  of  the  Spaniards  on  the  coast  the  natives 
proceeded  in  canoes  to  the  ships,  and  offered  ador- 
ation to  them,  believing  that  the  god  Quetzalco- 
huatl,  with  his  followers,  had  returned,  and  that 
the  fulfillment  of  the  prophecy  was  accomplished. 
The  words  of  the  historian  are  these:  "They  en- 
tered immediately  into  canoes  and  commenced  to 
row  toward  the  vessels,  and,  as  they  arrived  near 
the  ships  and  saw  the  Spaniards  they  kissed  the 
prows  of  their  vessels  as  a  sign  of  adoration,  think- 
ing that  it  wns  the  god  Quetzalcohuatl,  who  had 
returned,  whom  they  were  expecting,  as  appears 
in  the  history  of  that  god."  1  And  in  the  follow- 
ing chapter  he  says:  "As  Montezuma  heard  the 
news  he  despatched  persons  to  receive  Quetzal- 
cohuatl, for  he  thought  it  was  he  who  had  come, 
for  they  were  daily  expecting  him  (cada  dia  le  es- 
taban  esperando).  And  as  it  was  known  that 
Quetzalcohuatl  had  departed  toward  the  east, 
and  that  the  vessels  had  also  come  from  the  east, 
for  this  reason  they  thought  it  was  he. 

>;  2 

(1)  Historia  de  a  Conquista  de  Mexico:  vol.  1,  chap.  2. 

(2)  Ibid,  chap  iii. 


It  is  then  undeniably  true,  that  a  popular  tra- 
dition existed  in  the  country,  respecting  a  proph- 
ecy, made  by  Quetzalcohuatl,  in  which  was  fore- 
told the  future  arrival  of  whites  on  the  coast;  and 
this,  while  it  proves  the  reality  of  the  man,  and 
his  character  as  a  teacher  of  religion,  also  proves 
the  still  more  important  and  appreciable  fact  of  his 
being  a  Christian,  and  of  western  origin;  for,  it 
was  clearly  set  forth  in  the  prophecy,  that  the  per- 
sons who  should  come  would  be  whites,  and  of 
the  same  religion  as  he.  The  time  also  seems  to 
have  been  specified  by  the  Apostle,  if  we  are  to 
judge  from  the  expression  that  they  were  expect- 
ing him  every  day.  And,  indeed,  Boturini  assures 
us,  that  the  time  mentioned  in  the  Mexican  hiero- 
glyphics, was  that  in  which  the  Christians  arrived. 
The  year  ce  acatl  was  that  foretold  by  Quetzalco- 
huatl, and  in  that  year  the  Spaniards  landed  in 
the  country. 

But  what  seemed  to  impress  them  especially 
with  the  belief  of  his  immediate  arrival,  were  the 
remarkable  phenomena  which  occurred  at  this 
time,  and  of  which  we  have  spoken  before.  They 
were  eight  in  all:  the  first,  which  occurred  ten 
years  previous  to  the  Christians'  arrival,  being  a 
frightful,  appalling  flame,  or  pillar  of  fire,  that 
seemed  to  reach  from  earth  to  heaven,  and  turned 
night  into  day.  It  used  to  appear  in  the  east,  al- 
ways after  the  hour  of  midnight,  and  continued 
until  morning,   appearing  regularly  in  the  same 

186  HISTORY    OF    THE 

way  every  night,  for  the  space  of  an  entire  year. 
The  whole  population  was  exceedingly  terrified, 
and  believed  that  it  portended  some  terrible  ca- 
lamity. The  second,  was  the  unaccountable  burn- 
ing of  the  great  tower  of  the  temple  of  the  god 
Huitzilipochetli,  the  flames  seeming  to  proceed 
from  the  very  centre  of  the  columns.  Then  there 
was  the  sudden  overflow  of  the  lake,  without  any 
assignable  cause,  there  being  neither  storm  nor 
earthquake;  and,  more  alarming  still,  there  was  an 
unearthly,  doleful  voice,  crying  in  the  air,  and  say- 
ing, "Oh,  my  children,  we  are  lost!  where  now 
shall  I  take  thee  ! " 

It  would  be,  then,  for  those  who  deny  the  Chris- 
tian character  of  this  man,  to  account  in  some 
satisfactory  way  for  these  remarkable  occurrences. 
It  is  not  in  accordance  with  reason  or  religion, 
to  suppose  that  the  Almighty  would  have  made 
use  of  a  Pagan  impostor,  to  foretell  the  introduc- 
tion of  His  religion  into  this  country.  On  the 
other  hand,  Paganism  is  tolerant  of  its  own;  it 
does  not  persecute  its  ministers  of  religion;  there 
is  nothing  in  its  system  to  contradict  the  nat- 
ural desires.  Neither  do  Pagans  go  forth  in  the 
character  of  apostles,  to  teach  men  most  admira- 
rable  laws,  to  inculcate  veneration  to  the  symbol 
of  the  Christian  religion,  to  enforce  the  advan- 
tages and  necessity  of  fasts,  penances,  baptism  and 
confession.  But,  least  of  all,  do  Pagans  show 
forth  in  their  lives,  and  enforce,  both  byword  and 


example,  the  most  admirable  lessons  of  continency, 
such  as  this  man  is  accredited  with  having  ob- 

To  sum  up,  then,  all  that  has  been  said  in  the 
foregoing,  our  argument  may  be  thus  briefly 

On  the  arrival  of  the  Spaniards  in  America, 
certain  customs,  practices  and  traditions,  were 
found  to  prevail,  which,  on  any  other  lrypothesis 
than  that  of  the  previous  introduction  of  Chris- 
tianity into  the  country,  cannot  be  satisfactorily 
explained.  They  had  nothing  in  common  with 
Paganism;  they  were  not  in  whole  or  in  part  in 
harmony  with  it.  In  the  Gentile  mythology, 
they  were  certainly  out  of  their  place.  The  wor- 
ship of  the  Cross,  the  administration  of  baptism, 
confession  and  communion,  though  very  much  al- 
tered and  disfigured,  are  yet  easily  recognized  as 
being  essentially  Christian,  and  not  Pagan.  So, 
also,  the  belief  in  the  unity  and  trinity  of  God, 
the  incarnation,  death  and  resurrection  of  Christ, 
which,  as  we  have  shown,  appears  to  have  been 
held,  at  least,  by  some  of  the  people.  But,  all 
these  customs,  practices,  and  ideas  of  religion,  the 
popular  traditions  of  the  country,  as  embodied  in 
the  Mexican  hieroglyphics,  and  the  Peruvian  Qui- 
pos,  attribute  to  the  venerable  white  man,  Quet- 
zalcohuatl,  who,  as  was  proved,  visited  the  country 
in  the  year  of  our  Lord  63,  and  whose  name  has 
been  shown  to  be  identical  with  that  of  the  Apostle 

188  HISTORY    OF    THE 

St.  Thomas.  When  to  this  we  add  the  positive 
statement  of  Scripture,  regarding  the  preaching  of 
the  gospel  in,  apparently,  every  part  of  the  world, 
during  the  first  age  of  the  Christian  religion,  and 
the  absence,  on  the  other  hand,  of  all  satisfactory 
reason  to  the  contrary,  the  reader,  we  feel  certain, 
will  be  ready  to  admit,  that  the  presence  of  the 
Apostle  St.  Thomas  in  this  country  rests  on  the 
most  reasonable  and  probable  grounds.  It  com- 
mends itself,  too,  to  our  acceptance  the  more,  when 
we  remember  the  field  of  the  Apostle's  missionary 
career  in  the  East,  he  having,  as  it  is  thought,  vis- 
ited the  Island  of  Sumatra1  and  the  Philippines,2 
the  direct  route,  which,  if  pursued,  would  have 
brought  him  to  the  shores  of  the  Pacific. 

The  part  of  the  coast  where  he  landed  seems  to 
have  been  some  point  in  Lower  California.  The 
reason  for  our  arriving  at  such  a  conclusion  must 
be  obvious  to  the  reader,  for  there,  and  not  in  Up- 
per California,  as  we  have  seen,  were  Christian 
traditions  encountered  among  the  natives.  The 
same  was  the  opinion  of  the  learned  Dr.  Mier,  for, 
speaking  of  the  Saint's  arrival,  he  says:  "Hence 
(namely  from  the  west)  he  came  according  to  his 
history,  entering  by  California,  although  Torquc- 
mada  says  that  he  arrived  at  Tula,  or  Tollan,  hav- 
ing disembarked  at  Panuco,  some  say,  with  four- 
teen, and  others,  with  seven  disciples,  clad  in  long 

(1)  See  Batter's  Lives  of  the  Saints. 

(2)  Veytia;  Historia  Aniig.  de  Mejivo. 


garments  reaching  to  the  feet,  with  tunic  and  Jew- 
ish mantles  similar  to  those  of  the  Indians,  which 
they  are  accustomed  to  wear  in  their  feasts.  They 
had  not  with  them  any  women,  nor  had  Quetzal- 
cohuatl  ever  any,  for  he  was  most  continent.  This 
was  the  great  priest  of  Tula,  and  thence  he  sent 
forth  his  disciples  to  preach  in  Huaxyacac  and 
other  provinces,  a  new  and  holy  law.  He  demo- 
lished the  idols,  prohibited  the  sacrifices  which 
were  not  of  bread,  flowers  and  incense,  abhorred 
war,  taught  penance,  the  fast  of  forty  or  seventy 
days,  etc."  1 

But  objection  may  be  taken  to  the  foregoing  by 
inquiring  how,  if  the  true  doctrine  of  Christ  were 
preached  in  the  country,  it  could  have  eventually 
become  so  exceedingly  altered  and  disfigured  as  to 
be  hardly  recognizable  on  the  arrival  of  the  Span- 
iards. To  my  mind  the  question  presents  no  seri- 
ous objection.  Nothing  is  more  natural  than  that 
a  people,  separated  for  fifteen  hundred  years  from 
all  communication  with  the  countries  of  Europe — 
from  all  communication  with  the  centre  of  Catho- 
lic unity — the  living  fountain  of  truth — should, 
from  passion,  prejudice,  ignorance  or  persecution, 
or  all  together,  have  fallen  into  serious  mistakes 
respecting  the  truth.  Nor  were  these  the  only 
reasons  which  might  have  succeeded  in  producing 
so  unhappy  a  result.  They  were  further  deprived 
of  that  great  and  invaluable  means   of  preserving 

(1)     Vide  Mier,  Apud,  Sahagun. 

190  HISTORY   OF    THE 

intact,  the  teaching  of  the  Apostle,  I  mean  the 
written  use  of  language  or  phonetic  writing,  with- 
out which,  unless  by  divine  interposition,  it  would 
be  almost  impossible  for  any  body  of  doctrine  to  be 
securely  preserved  for  several  centuries.  When 
everything  has  to  be  learned  from  memory  and 
handed  down  without  books,  through  a  long  series 
of  years,  for  several  ages,  all  that  we  can  reason- 
ably expect  in  the  end  is  the  general  outline  or 
more  prominent  features  of  the  religion  as  first 
preached  to  the  people. 

Even  in  Europe  and  Asia,  where  so  many  facil- 
ities have  existed  for  preserving  the  truth  in  all 
its  original  purity;  where  recourse  was  so  easily 
had  to  the  Sovereign  Pontiff;  where  so  much  learn- 
ing and  ability  existed  among  all  orders  of  the 
clergy;  where  so  many  councils,  diocesan,  provin- 
cial, national  and  general,  have  been  holden  for 
the  purpose;  where  the  very  doctrine  itself  was 
carefully  committed  to  writing  and  embodied  in 
the  Scriptures,  in  the  writing  of  the  Fathers  and 
the  Liturgies  of  the  Church,  yet  how  many  errors, 
how  many  corruptions,  how  many  false  systems 
have  there  not  originated  ?  Not  a  single  century 
has  passed  from  the  beginning  that  novelties  have 
not  been  broached,  that  new  systems  have  not  been 
attempted,  that  the  original  faith  has  not  in  some 
things  been  impugned.  In  the  first  century  there 
were  the  Ebionites,  the  Corinthians,  the  Nicholites; 
in  the  second,   the  Marcionites,  the   Valentinians, 


the  Basilidians,  and  so  on  down  to  the  present. 
And  in  the  change  effected  by  many  of  these  self- 
constituted  Apostles,  the  alterations  have,  in  se- 
veral instances,  been  such  that  with  difficulty  we 
can  recognize  their  adherents  as  the  descendants 
of  those  who  once  held  Catholic  doctrine.  Who. 
for  instance,  unless  acquainted  with  the  fact  by 
the  positive  testimony  of  history,  would  believe 
that  the  Mormons,  the  Unitarians,  the  Quakers, 
were  the  children  of  those  who  believed  in  the 
divinity  of  Christ,  the  efficacy  of  the  Sacraments, 
and  the  divine  mission  of  the  Catholic  Church. 
What  is  there  in  Methodism,  Calvinism,  or  Dunk- 
erism,  similar  to  Catholic  doctrine  ?  And  yet  all 
these,  and  hundreds  of  others,  are  indubitably  de- 
scendants of  those  who,  only  three  hundred  years 
from  the  present,  professed  Catholic  faith  in  all 
its  entirety — that  is  to  say,  children  of  those  men 
who  believed  in  and  frequented  the  Sacraments  of 
the  Church,  prayed  to  the  Saints,  acknowledged 
and  adhered  to  the  teaching  of  Rome,  and  died  in 
that  faith. 

If,  then,  in  our  own  countries,  in  our  own  midst, 
under  our  own  eyes,  instances  of  this  nature  have 
occurred,  wherein  men  have  departed  so  widely 
from  the  original  doctrine,  are  we  to  be  astonished 
that  under  less  favorable  circumstances  the  truth 
should  have  been  clouded,  disfigured  and  largely 
corrupted.  In  the  fifteen  hundred  years'  that 
elapsed  from  the  arrival  of  the   Apostle  till  the 

192  HISTORY    OF    THE 

landing  of  the  Spaniards,  what  else  but  error,  cor- 
ruption and  change  could  be  expected.  Ignorant 
and  uncivilized  races  could  not  be  expected  to  do 
more  than  preserve  a  general,  indefinite  idea  of 
the  faith.  The  Church,  in  all  probability,  was 
never  securely  established  in  the  land.  Persecu- 
tion, if  we  may  judge  from  the  traditions,  fell 
heavily  upon  it  from  the  beginning.  The  Saint 
was  early  driven  from  the  field  of  his  labor.  De- 
prived of  the  advantages  of  his  presence,  the  peo- 
ple naturally  fell  back  into  a  partial  idolatry,  pre- 
serving withal  an  idea  of  the  chief  doctrines  of  re- 
ligion. Indeed,  this  is  the  very  account  that 
tradition  furnishes  us  of  the  matter,  for,  as  we 
have  seen,  Quetzalcohuatl,  after  having  been  ban- 
ished, returned  after  a  time  to  visit  the  people  of 
Tula,  and  finding  his  followers  there  mixed  up  with 
the  other  inhabitants  of  the  land,  he  abandoned 
the  place,  prophesying  that  his  brethren  would 
afterwards  come  into  the  country  to  rule  over  the 
inhabitants,  and  teach  them  religion.  A  couple 
or  more  generations  would  accordingly  have  suf- 
ficed in  this  way  to  blend  up  and  confound  the 
Christian  and  Pagan  religion,  so  that  at  the  end  of 
one  or  two  hundred  years  it  would  be  difficult, 
yea,  almost  impossible,  to  distinguish  in  the  med- 
ley the  doctrine  of  Christ  from  that  of  the  Pagans. 
It  may  be  that  the  reign  of  truth  was  of  much 
longer'  duration  than  this,  but  the  result  in  the 
end,  under  the  circumstances,  could  be  hardly  ex- 


pected  to  be  other.  Nay,  it  seems  almost  unac- 
countable, how  a  people,  situated  as  the  ancient 
inhabitants  of  this  country,  separated  so  com- 
pletely from  the  fountain  of  truth;  exposed  so 
much  on  every  side,  to  the  pernicious  influences 
of  a  corrupting  idolatry;  deprived  of  the  use  of  a 
phonetic  writing,  wherein,  to  record  the  dogmas  of 
their  faith — not  to  speak  of  the  numerous  other 
disadvantages  of  a  kindred  character,  under  which 
they  were  laboring  for  so  many  centuries,  and  all 
operating  in  a  similar  direction,  tending  to  like 
corrupting  results — it  is  almost  unaccountable,  I 
say,  how,  under  such  unfavorable  circumstances, 
they  preserved  so  clear  and  well  defined  ideas  of  the 
Christian  religion. 

But,  some  one  might  ask,  how  was  it  possible 
for  the  Apostle  to  arrive  on  these  shores,  inas- 
much as  there  was  no  communication  between  this 
country  and  Europe  in  those  da}^s.  This  is  equal- 
ly as  illogical  as  the  former  is  unreasonable.  The 
preaching  of  the  gospel  in  America,  need  not  ne- 
cessarily have  depended  on  a  communication  be- 
tween the  old  and  the  new  world.  He  who  com- 
missioned his  Apostles  to  preach  to  every  creature 
could  easily,  had  he  desired  it,  have  miraculously 
transported  them  to  the  most  distant  parts  of  the 
globe.  Are  we  to  suppose  that  distance  of  place, 
or  want  of  free  communication  with  races,  was  to 
be  a  barrier  to  the  Lord,  in  the  communication  of 


194  THE  HISTORY    OF 

his  will  to  his  creatures?  Do  not  the  Sacred  Scrip- 
tures furnish  us  with  one  instance,  at  least,  of  an 
Apostle  being  miraculously  translated  through  the 
air,  the  distance  of  two  hundred  and  seventy 
stuclii,  from  Jerusalem  to  Azotus?  "And  when 
they  were  come  up  out  of  the  water,  the  Spirit  of 
the  Lord  took  away  Philip,  and  the  Eunuch  saw 
him  no  more,  and  he  went  on  his  way  rejoicing. 
But  Philip  was  found  in  Azotus;  and,  passing 
through,  he  preached  the  gospel  to  all  the  cities, 
till  he  came  to  Cesarea."1 

•  It  is  the  universal  tradition  of  the  Church,  that 
all  the  Apostles  were  present  at  the  death  of  the 
Mother  of  God,  nor  is  it  pretended  that  their  as- 
sembling was  other  than  miraculous.2  To  com- 
mand the  Apostles  to  preach  the  gospel  through- 
out the  entire  world,  and  not  to  furnish  them  with 
the  means  of  reaching  the  most  distant  parts, 
would  be  to  enjoin  an  impossibility.  He  who  gave 
the  gift  of  tongues,  and  the  power  of  working  mir- 
acles, would  not  surely  withhold  the  means  of 

But  it  is  not  true  that  a  communication  did  not 
exist  between  this  country  and  the  old  world  be- 
fore the  fifteenth  century.  Marco  Polo  is  stated 
to  have  spoken  of  a  commerce  existing  between 

(1)  Acts:  chap,  viii,  v.  39-40. 

(2)  "Ex  antiqua  accepimus  traditions,  quod  tempore  gloriosse  dor- 
mitionis  beatte  virginis,  universi  quidem  sancti  Apostoli  qui  orbem  terrae 
ad  salutem  Gentium  peragrabant,  momento  temporis  in  sublime  elaii  con- 
veneruntjerosolomis."  (De  Sermone  S.  Joannis  Damasceni,  Apud  Bre- 
viarium  Romanum.) 


southern   India  and  this  part  of  the  world.     An 
author  cited  by  Dr.  Mier,  brings  proof  of  a  com- 
munication  having   existed   between  Mexico  and 
China,  in  the  fifth  century;  and  the  early  Jesuit 
Fathers  saw,  on  one  occasion,  a  number  of  what 
seemed  to  them  Chinese  junks  on  the  coast;  a  fact 
which  would  lead  one  to  conclude,  that  the  knowl- 
edge of  America  was  not  unknown  to  that  people. 
But,  even   long  before  Christianity,  it  was  known 
to  Europeans.     Hanno,  the  celebrated  navigator, 
who  lived  about  eight  hundred  years  B.  C,  was 
probably  the  first  who  visited   its   shores.     In  a 
work  called   llie  Periplus,  he  speaks  of    a  land, 
which  those  who   have  examined  the  writing,  as- 
sure us,  can  mean  only  the  continent  of  America, 
or  some  one  of  the  neighboring  islands.     That  on 
which  the  authors  rest  their  conclusion,  is  the  as- 
sertion of  the  navigator  himself;  who  avers,  that 
after  having  passed  the  pillars  of  Hercules,  and 
having  left  the  African  coast,  he  sailed  directly  to 
the  west,  for  the  space  of  thirty  days,  when  he 
met  with  land,  which,  from  the   direction  he  took, 
and  the  time  he  was   out,  must  either   have  been 
the  continent  itself,  or,  as  I  have  said,  some  of  the 
islands  in  the  immediate  vicinity. 

Four  hundred  years  later,  the  Greek  philosopher, 
Plato,  speaks  of  the  same  in  still  more  unmistak- 
able terms.  After  alluding  to  the  destruction  of 
that  imaginary  land,  the  Atlantis,  he  says:  "There 
existed  an  island  at  the  mouth  of  the  sea,  beyond 

196  HISTORY    OF   THE 

the  straits,  called  the  Pillars  of  Hercules;  this 
island  was  larger  and  wider  than  Lib}7a  and  Asia; 
from  thence  there  was  an  easy  passage  unto  the 
other  islands,  and  from  the  latter  unto  the  continent 
beyond  those  regions"  This  is  farther  strengthened 
and  supported  by  the  testimony  of  Aristotle,  Plu- 
tarch and  Strabo.  The  former  gives  it  as  the 
common  belief  of  his  time,  that  such  a  land  did 
exist.  "  It  is  said,"  writes  the  philosopher,  "  that 
the  Carthagenians  have  discovered,  beyond  the 
Pillars  of  Hercules,  a  very  fertile  island — but 
which  is  without  inhabitants — yet  full  of  forests,  of 
navigable  rivers,  and  abounding  in  fruits.  It  is  sit- 
uated many  days  voyage  from  the  main  land. 
Some  of  the  Carthagenians,  charmed  with  the  fer- 
tility of  that  country,  conceived  the  idea  of  get- 
ting married,  and  of  going  and  establishing  them- 
selves there;  but  it  is  said  that  the  Carthagenian 
Government  forbade  any  one  to  attempt  to  colo- 
nize the  island,  under  penalty  of  death;  for,  in 
case  it  were  to  become  powerful,  it  might  deprive 
the  mother  country  of  her  possessions  there.v  The 
land  here  spoken  of.  with  its  forests,  its  navigable 
rivers,  its  fertility,  and  distance  from  the  main 
land,  can  hardly  be  mistaken  for  the  American 

About  the  same  time,  or  perhaps  a  little  later 
in  the  days  of  Alexander  the  Great,  Theopompus, 
another  great  writer  and  orator,  in  a  work  called 
Thaumasia,  a  species  of  dialogue  between  a  certain 


Mida^,  a  Phrygian,  and  Silenus,  speaks  of  the  same 
remarkable  land.  The  work  has  been  unhappily 
lost,  but  it  is  quoted  by  Strabo  and  Alianus-,  by 
whom  we  are  told  that  Theopompus,  in  the  char- 
acter of  Midas,  informs  his  friend  that  Europe, 
Asia  and  Africa  are  islands,  but  that  further  on 
there  is  a  still  greater  land,  where  the  animals  and 
productions  are  of  prodigious  size,  where  men  are 
of  gigantic  stature,  and  where  there  were  numer- 
ous cities,  one  of  which  he  affirms  contained  at 
that  time  more  than  a  million  of  inhabitants. 
Where  or  from  whom  the  writer  obtained  his  in- 
formation there  is  now  no  means  of  determining, 
but  that  the  land  he  referred  to  was  America, 
there  cannot  be  a  reasonable  doubt. 

The  next  writer,  who  speaks  of  the  country,  is 
Diodorus,  the  Sicilian,  or  Siculus,  as  he  is  more 
commonly  known,  and  who  lived,  about  one  hun- 
dred years  before  Christ.  ,  His  language  is  even 
plainer  and  more  satisfactory  than  the  foregoing: 
''After  having  passed  the  islands,  which  lie  beyond 
the  Herculean  Straits,  we  will  speak  of  those 
which  lie  much  further  into  the  ocean.  Toward 
Africa,  and  to  the  west  of  it,  is  an  immense  island 
in  the  broad  sea,  many  days  sail  from  Libya.  Its 
soil  is  very  fertile  and  its  surface  variegated  with 
mountains  and  valleys.  Its  coasts  are  indented 
with  many  navigable  rivers,  and  its  fields  are  well 
cultivated,  and  dotted  with  delicious  gardens  and 
with  plants  and  trees  of  all  sizes."     Who  is  there 

198  HISTORY   OF   THE 

that  does  not  recognize  in  this  the  America  of 
former  days,  with  its  fertile  soil,  variegated  sur- 
face, great  navigable  rivers,  and  diversity  of  trees  ? 
Later  still,  about  the  beginning  of  the  present 
era,  we  find  the  great  rhetorician,  Seneca,  alluding 
to  it  in  the  following  words  of  one  of  his  trage- 

Venient  annis 

Sfecula  seris,  quibus  oceanus 

Vincula  rerum  laxet  et     *     *     * 

Pateat  tellus,  Typhisque  novos 

Detegat  orbes  ;  nee  sit  terris 

Ultima  Thule. 

—Medea  :  Act.  3,  v.  375. 

When  to  this  we  add  the  allusions  of  the  great 
Greek  and  Latin  Poets — Homer  and  Horace — re- 
garding the  situation  of  the  famous  Atlantides, 
where  were  supposed  to  be  the  Elysian  plains, 
some  ten  thousand  stadii,  or  furlongs,  from  Africa, 
there  can  be  very  little  doubt,  but  that  the  conti- 
nent of  America  was  known  to  Europeans  even 
before  the  establishment  of  the  Christian  religion. 
That  it  was  also  visited  by  Europeans  after  the 
coming  of  Christ,  but  some  hundreds  of  years  be- 
fore the  days  of  Columbus,  we  shall  show  in  the 
following  chapter. 



Second  Source  whence  the    Christian    Traditions  of  California 

might  have  been  derived. the  irish  in  iceland  previous  to 

its  discovery  by  the  northmen. — testimony  of  an  irish  monk 
and  of  Icelandic  Historians  to  this  effect.  —  The  Irish  in 
America  prior  to  the  Eleventh  Century.  —  Proofs  from  Ice- 
landic Manuscripts.  —  St.  Brandon's  voyage  to  America. — Eu- 
ropean Traditions  regarding  the  voyage. 

Although  the  presence  of  St.  Thomas  the  Apos- 
tle in  the  country,  as  shown  in  the  preceding 
chapter,  seems  to  us  the  genuine  source  whence 
were  derived  the  manifestly  Christian  traditions 
and  practices  of  which  we  have  spoken,  there  is 
yet  another  channel  through  which  they  might 
have  been  obtained.  Christianity  was  introduced 
into  America  by  the  Irish,  on  the  Atlantic  border, 
at  or  before  the  tenth  century.  This  is  establish- 
ed from  ancient  Icelandic  historic  writings.  The 
route  by  which  they  entered  the  country  seems  to 
have  been  by  the  Faroe  Isles  and  Iceland,  while 
others,  as  the  quotations  to  be  adduced  will  show, 
proceeded  direct  across  the  Atlantic. 

In  the  Antiquitates  Americana?,  an  elaborate  work 
published  in  1837  at  Copenhagen  under  the  direc- 
tion of  the  Royal  Society  of  Northern  Antiqua- 
rians, the  following  passage  from  the  second  vellum 
codex  of  the  history  of  King  Olaf  Tryggvason,  at- 
tests the  presence  of  the  Irish  in  Iceland  previous 

200  HISTORY    OF    THE 

to  the  discovery  of  that  island  by  the  Northmen: 
"But  before  Iceland  was  colonized  from  Norway, 
men  had  been  there,  whom  the  Northmen  called 
Papas.  They  were  Christians,  for  after  them  were 
found  Irish  books,  bells,  croziers,  and  many  other 
things,  whence  it  could  be  seen  that  they  were 
Christians  and  had  come  from  the  west  over  the 
sea."  *  As  Iceland  was  discovered  by  the  North- 
men early  in  the  second  half  of  the  ninth  century, 
the  Irish  must  have  been  there  previous  to  that 
date.  In  another  Icelandic  work,  the  Shedas  of 
AriFrode,  surnamed  the  Learned,  the  same  positive 
evidence  is  found  attesting  the  presence  of  the 
Irish  in  Iceland  at  that  early  period:  "At  that 
time,  viz  :  before  the  coming  of  the  Northmen, Ice- 
land was  covered  with  woods  between  the  moun- 
tains and  the  sea.  There  were  then  Christian  peo- 
ple here  whom  the  Northmen  called  Papas,  but 
they  subsequently  departed,  for  they  would  not 
be  here  among  heathens:  they  left  after  them 
Irish  books,  bells  and  croziers  from  which  it  could 
be  seen  that  they  were  Irishmen."  2  And  in  the 
Prologue  to  the  Landnamabock,  the  most  accurate 
and  reliable  ancient  Icelandic  history,  similar  testi- 
mony, in  almost  the  very  identical  words,  is  also 

(1)  See  Icelandic  Original  at  end  of  chap.  Antiquiiates  Americance,  p. 
203.  Discovery  of  America  by  the  Northmen  :  Ludlow  Beamish,  Fel- 
low of  the  Royal  Soeiety  of  Northmen. 

(2)  See  original  at  end  of  chap. 

(3)  Vide  Antiquiiates  Americance. 


To  the  foregoing,  it  may  be  objected  that  no  ac- 
count of  such  a  colonization  is  to  be  found  in  the 
pages  of  Irish  history.  This,  the  reader  will  ob- 
serve, is  but,  at  best,  only  a  negative  argument, 
and  of  very  little  weight  in  presence  of  the  posi- 
tive evidence  adduced.  The  most  important  and 
brilliant  period  of  Irish  history,  remains  unsup- 
ported by  any  authentic  manuscript  writings;  the 
Psalter  of  Cas7iel,  written  in  the  ninth  century, 
being  the  oldest  of  the  kind.  But  it  is  not  true, 
that  all  Irish  history  is  silent  on  this  point.  In 
the  Imperial  Library,  in  Paris,  there  is  a  Latin 
manuscript  treatise  entitled  "Liber  de  Mensura 
orbis  terrae,"  written  in  775,  by  the  Irish  monk 
Dicuil,  Abbot  of  Pahlarcht,  in  which  he  tells  us; 
he  had  spoken  with  some  Irish  ecclesiastics,  who 
had  been  in  Thule,  with  which  he  evidently  asso- 
ciates Iceland.  "It  is  now  thirty  years  since  cer- 
tain Religious,  who  lived  in  the  Island  of  Thule 
from  the  kalends  of  February  to  the  kalends  of 
August,  related  to  me,  that  not  only  in  the  sum- 
mer solstice,  but  in  the  immediate  days  thereof,  the 
sun  set  as  if  behind  a  hillock,  so  that  for  the 
shortest  space  of  time  there  was  no  darkness,  and 
one  could  perform  a  work  requiring  the  minutest 
observation,  "vel  pediculosus  de  camisia  abstra- 
here  tanquam  in  presentia  solis  potest!"  And  if 
one  were  on  the  mountain's  top,  perhaps  the  sun 
would  not  become  invisible  at  all.  *  *  *  Besides, 
those  were   deceived,   who  represented  it  as  sur- 

202  HISTORY   OF    THE 

rounded  by  a  frozen  ocean,  and   as   enjoying  per- 
petual day  from  the  vernal  to  the  autumnal  equi- 
nox,  and    vice    ver*sa,   continued  night   from   the 
autumnal  to  the  vernal;  inasmuch  as  the  Religious 
arrived  in  the  winter  season,  and,  during  their  so- 
journ, experienced  both  day  and  night  alternately." 
There  is  no  one  who  can  fail  to  recognize,  in  the 
foregoing,   the   island  of  which  we   are  speaking. 
Iceland,  alone,  would  answer  to  the   description 
given  by  the  writer,  as  enjoying  an  almost  perpet- 
ual day  for  one  half  of  the  year;  and,  again,  labor- 
ing under  the  disadvantages  of  almost  perpetual 
night'   for   the   other   half.     He  then  goes  on  to 
speak    of  the    Faroe    Isles,    leaving  it  still  more 
clearly  to  be  understood,  that  he  had  first  spoken 
of  Iceland.     "There  are  many  other  islands  in  the 
North  Atlantic  Ocean,  which,  from  the  Shetlands, 
may   be    easily  reached,  with    a   fair  wind,   in  a 
couple  of  days.     A  certain  Religious  assured  me, 
that  in  two  days  and  a  night,   he   reached  one  of 
them,  in  a  four-oared  boat.     Some  of  these  islands, 
which   are  small — almost  all  being  separated  by 
narrow   straits — were  inhabited,    about  one  hun- 
dred years  ago,   by  hermits,  from  Ireland.     But, 
as  from  the  beginning  of  the  world,  they  had  been 
uninhabited,  so  also  now,  on  account  of  the  Nor- 
man brigands,  are  they  deserted  by  the  anchorites ; 
but  they  are   stocked  with  large  herds  of  sheep, 
and   a   great  variety  of  marine  birds.     We  have 


never  found  these  islands  mentioned  by  any  au- 

From  this,  it  must  appear  evident  to  the  reader, 
that  the  Irish  inhabited  Iceland,  previous  to  its  dis- 
covery by  the  Northmen,  in  the  ninth  century;  for, 
as  has  been  remarked,  Diculius  wrote  in  the  year 
775.  Whence  they  proceeded,  on  being  banished 
the  island,  we  may  reasonably  conjecture,  from 
the  historical  evidence  to  be  adduced. 

In  the  Iceland  historic  work — the  Landnama- 
bock;  to  which  reference  has  been  already  made,  an 
account  is  given  of  an  Icelandic  chief,  Ari  Marson, 
who,  in  the  year  of  our  Lord,  982,  while  voyaging 
at  sea,  was  driven  from  his  course  and  wrecked 
on  a  land  which  will  be  subsequently  shown  to 
have  been  the  Atlantic  coast  of  North  America, 
where  he  encountered  some  Irish,  and  received 
baptism  at  their  hands.  The  passage,  as  translated 
from  the  Are-Magnean  collection  of  Icelandic 
manuscript  histories,  preserved  in  the  Royal  Li- 
brary at  Copenhagen,  runs  thus:  "  Ulf,  the 
squinter,  son  of  Hogni,  the  white,  took  all  Reyk- 
janes  between  Tharkafjard  and  Hafrafel;  he  mar- 
ried Bjorg,  daughter  of  Byvind,  the  eastman,  sis- 
ter of  Helge,  the  lean;  their  son  was  Atili,  the 
red,  who  married  Tharkalta,  daughter  of  Herjil 
Neprass;  their  son  was  Ari,  he  was  driven  by  a 
tempest   to  White  Man's  Land,  which  some  call 

(1)  The  book  of  Diculius  de  mensura  orbis  terrce,  from  the  two  codex 
manuscripts  of  the  Imperial  Library,  at  Paris,  edited,  for  the  first  time, 
by  C  A.  Walckmaer,  Paris,  1807. 

204  HISTORY   OF   THE 

Great  Ireland.  It  lies  to  the  west  in  the  sea,  near 
to  Vinland  the  Good,  and  six  days  sailing  to  the 
west  from  Ireland.1  Thence  Ari  was  unable  to 
get  away,  and  was  there  baptized.  This  account  was 
given  by  Rafn,  the  Limerick  merchant,  who  had 
lived  a  long  time  at  Limerick,  in  Ireland.  Thus, 
also,  said  Tharkell  Gellerson,  that  Icelanders  had 
stated,  who  had  heard  Thorfinn  Jarl  of  the  Ork- 
neys relate  that  Ari  was  recognized  in  White 
Man's  Land,  and  could  not  get  away  from  thence, 
but  was  much  respected." 

It  is  now  incumbent,  before  proceeding  further 
in  the  argument,  to  show  that  White  Man's  Land, 
where  Ari  Marson  was  wrecked  and  baptized  was 
a  part  of  the  Atlantic  border  of  North  America. 
The  geographical  position  given  it  in  the  passage, 
near  to  Vinland  the  Good,  which  all  the  most 
eminent  northern  antiquarians,  as  Rask,  Rafn, 
Beamish,  Pinkerton,  and  a  host  of  others,  recog- 
nize as  the  present  State  of  Massachusetts,  may  be 
offered  in  the  first  place  in  evidence.  But  more 
satisfactory  still,  as  excluding  all  reasonable  doubt, 
is  the  unequivocal  testimony  of  the  Icelandic  geog- 
rapher. In  the  manuscript,  codex  B.  770  c.  8vo., 
the  following  geographical  fragment  regarding  the 
position  of  Great  Ireland  is  thus  given  :  "  Now, 
there  are,  as  is  said,  south  from  Greenland,  which 

(1)  Antiqvitaies  Americance,  p.  21 — "The  six  days  here  spoken  of,  it 
must  be  admitted,  present  a  difficulty,  but  it  is  thought  by  the  most 
eminent  men  to  have  been  an  error  on  the  part  of  the  copyist,  for  the 
original  manuscript  no  longer  exists.  Rafn  supposes  that  it  was  ori- 
ginally written  xxxvi,  and  not  vi." 


is  inhabited,  deserts,  uninhabited  places,  and  ice- 
bergs, then  the  lands  of  the  Skrelings,  then  Mark- 
land,  then  Yinland  the  Good;  next,  and  somewhat 
behind,  lies  Albania  Huitramanaland,  which  is 
White  Maris  Land.  Thither  was  sailing  formerly 
from  Ireland;  there  Irishmen  and  Icelanders  recog- 
nised Ari,  the  son  of  Mar  and  Ratla  of  Reykjanes, 
of  whom  nothing  had  been  heard  for  a  long  time, 
and  who  had  been  made  a  chief  there  by  the  in- 
habitants." x 

The  position  thus  accorded  to  White  Man's 
Land,  or  Great  Ireland,  whence  there  was  com- 
munication formerly  with  Ireland,  cannot,  by  any 
possibility,  be  made  to  refer  to  any  other  than  that 
part  of  the  Atlantic  coast  between  New  York 
and  Florida;  for,  to  the  south  of  Greenland  there 
is  no  other  land  than  the  American  continent, 
while  the  very  appositeness  of  the  names  given  to 
the  different  parts  of  the  coast  leave  no  manner  of 
doubt  as  to  the  precise  locality  thereof.  Thns,  the 
inhabitable  places  and  icebergs  mentioned  in  the 
first  part  of  the  description  as  occurring  immedi- 
ately on  leaving  Greenland,  are  a  faithful  repre- 
sentation of  that  part  of  the  American  coast  in  the 
immediate  vicinity  of  Davis'  Straits  and  Hudson's 
Bay.  The  land  of  the  Skrelings,  or  Helluland— Flat 
Stone  Land — as  it  is  also  called  in  other  Icelandic 
manuscripts,  as  we  shall  presently  see,  is  likewise 
a  most   appropriate  name  for  the  country  of  the 

(1)  Autig.  Amer.,  p.  215. 

206  HISTORY    OF    THE 

Esquimaux  along  the  Labrador    coast,    the  land 
there   being   entirely  barren,   and   covered    with 
enormous  stones,   as  we  learn  from  the  works  of 
travelers. 1      Markland,    or    Woodland,    which    is 
placed  next  in  order,   and  is  understood  as  repre- 
senting the  Nova  Scotia  coast,  is  thus  described  in 
the   Columbian  Navigator:  "The   land    about   the 
harbor  of  Halifax,  and  a  little  to  the  southward  of 
it,  is  in  appearance  rugged  and   rocky  and  has  on 
it  in  several  places  scrubby  withered  woods.  Although 
it  seems  bold,  yet  it  is  not  high."     And  a  writer 
in  the  North  American  Pilot,  published  in  London, 
in  1815,  represents  it  as  low,  barren,  sandy,  and 
woody:  "  Near  Port  Hallimand  are  several  barren 
places ;  and  thence  to  Cape  Sable,  which  makes  the 
southwest  point  into  Barrington's  Bay,  is   a  low 
woody  island,  at  the  southeast  extremity  of  a  range 
of  sandy  cliffs."  2     The  foregoing  is  corroborated 
and  confirmed  by  the  account  given  in  the  cele- 
brated  Flatobogen  codex  of  the  voyages  of  Leif 
Erickson,  Thorwald,  Thorfinn,   and  Karlsefne,  as 
also  by  numerous  geographical  notices,   some  of 
which   we    shall  introduce    to  the  notice  of  the 
reader.     In  994,  Leif  Erickson,  son  of  Erick  the 
Red,  set  out  on  an  expedition  from  Greenland,  in 
order  to  visit  the  land  we  have  been  describing, 

(1)  This  vast  tract  of  land  is  extremely  barren,  and  altogether  inca- 
pable of  cultivation.  The  surface  is  everywhere  uneven,  and  covered 
with  large  stones,  some  of  which  are  of  amazing  dimensions.  There  is 
no  such  thing  as  level  land.  (Particulars  of  Labrador.  Phil.  Transac, 
vol.  L.,  c.  xiv. ) 

(2)  See  Beamish  Hist.  Northmen. 


which  had  been  visited  a  few  years  previous  by  his 
countryman  Bjorni  Herjulfson.  "  Erick  went 
home  to  Brathahild,  but  Leif  repaired  to  the  ship 
with  thirty-five  men.  There  was  a  southern  man, 
Tyrker  Hight,  in  the  company.1  After  preparing 
the  vessel,  they  sailed  into  the  open  sea,  and 
found  that  land  first  which  Bjarni  had  found  last. 
After  casting  anchor,  they  put  off  boats  and  went 
ashore,  but  could  see  no  grass.  The  mountains 
were  covered  with  enormous  masses  of  icebergs, 
while  the  country  from  the  sea  thereto  appeared 
as  if  a  plain  oiflat  stones,  and  devoid  of  every  good 
quality.  Leif  then  spoke  and  said  :  "  It  has  not 
happened  to  us  as  it  did  to  Bjarni  that  we  have 
not  landed.  Now,  I  will  give  it  a  name,  and  call 
it  Helluland.  They  then  returned  to  the  vessel, 
and  after  sailing  for  some  time,  came  to  another 
land,  where  they  cast  anchor  and  went  ashore. 
This  land  was  flat  and  covered  with  wood.  Then 
said  Leif,  it  shall  be  called  after  its  qualities,  and 
he  named  it  Marhland  (Woodland). 

They  next  immediately  returned  to  the  ship,  and 
sailed  into  the  open  sea,  with  a  northeast  wind, 
and  were  two  days  before  they  saw  land ;  whither 
on  proceeding,  they  an  island  which  lay  to 
the  eastward  of  the  coast.  There  they  went  ashore, 
and  observed  that  there  was  dew  upon  the  grass; 
and  it  so  happened  that  they  touched  the  dew 
with  their  hands,  and  having  applied  their  fingers 

(1)     This  man  was  supposed  to  be  a  German. 

208  HISTORY    OF    THE 

to  their  mouths,  they  thought  they  had  never  be- 
fore tasted  anything  so  sweet.  After  that,  they 
returned  to  the  ship,  1  and  sailed  into  a  sound 
which  lay  between  the  island  and  a  ness,  which 
ran  out  to  the  eastward  of  the  land,  and  then 
steered  westward  past  the  ness.  It  was  very  shal- 
low at  ebb  tide,  so  that  their  ship  was  unable  to  ad- 
vance. 2  But,  so  much  did  they  desire  to  land, 
that  they  did  not  give  themselves  time  to  wait  till 
the  water  rose  under  their  ship,  but  ran  at  once  on 
shore,"  etc.  The  narrative  then  goes  on  to  state 
how  they  put  up  there  for  the  winter,  and  how 
having  found  vines,  they  called  the  place  Yinland. 
"  And,  when  the  spring  came,  they  got  ready  and 
sailed  away,  and  Lief  gave  the  land  a  name  after 
its  qualities,  and  called  it  Vinla?id.v  3 

The  above  discovery  was  made  in  994,  from 
which  time  till  the  expedition  of  Thorfinn  Karls- 
efne  in  1007  it  was  visited  respectively  by  Thor- 
wald  in  1002,  and  by  Thorstein  Erickson  in  1005. 
The  description  given  of  it  by  Karlsefne  is  ident- 
ical with  that  of  Leif  Erickson:  "In  Brathahild 
there    was   much   talk    about   exploring   Yinland 

(1)  This  appears  to  have  been  Nantucket  Island,  where  honey-dew 
is  known  to  exist.  (  Vide  communication  of  Dr.  Webb  to  Rhode  Island 

(2)  This  is  a  most  correct  description  of  the  passage  between  Cape 
Cod  and  Rhode  Island.  "The  eastern  entrance,"  says  the  Columbian 
Navigator,  "is  impeded  by  numerous  reefs  and  other  shoals,  as  likewise 
the  central  and  western  parts,  and  the  whole  presents  an  aspect  of 
drowned  lands,  which,  there  can  be  little  doubt,  were  at  some  period 
anterior  to  history  connected  with  the  mainland."  (Vide  Antiq. 
Amer.,  p.  425.  Ludlow  Beamish.) 

(3)  Antiquitates  Americanos. 


the  good,  for  it  was  said  that  a  voyage  thither 
would  be  particularly  advantageous  by  reason  of 
the  fertility  of  the  land ;  and  it  went  so  far  that 
Karlsefne  and  Snorri  prepared  their  ships  to  ex- 
plore the  land  in  spring.  *  *  *  They  had  the 
vessels  which  Thorbgorn  had  brought  out  from 
Iceland.  They  had  in  all  one  hundred  and  sixty 
men  when  they  sailed  to  the  western  settlement, 
and  from  thence  to  Bjorni.  From  here,  having 
sailed  two  days  to  the  south,  they  saw  land,  and  hav- 
ing put  off  boats  and  explored  the  coast,  they  found 
there  great  flat  stones,  and  called  the  land  Hellu- 
land.  Thence  they  sailed  two  days,  and  having 
turned  from  the  south  to  the  southeast,  they  found 
a  land  covered  with  ivoods,  and  many  wild  beasts  up- 
on it;  and  an  island  lay  there  out  from  the  land  to 
the  southeast.  Having  killed  a  bear  there,  and 
called  the  place  Bear-Island,  they  named  the 
neighboring  land  Markland." 

The  narrative  then  continues  to  speak  of  their 
further  adventures  along  the  coast,  and  concludes 
in  the  following  manner:  "When  they  sailed  from 
Yinland  they  had  a  south  wind  and  came  to  Mark- 
land,  and  found  there  five  Skrelings,  one  of  whom 
was  an  adult,  while  two  were  girls  and  two  were 
boys.  They  took  the  boys,  but  the  others  escaped. 
*  *  *  *  The  youths  said  there  was  a  land  on 
the  other  side,  just  opposite  their  country,  where 
people  lived  who  wore  white  clothes,  and  carried 

210  HISTORY   OF   THE 

poles  before  them  to  which  they  fastened  flags, 
and  they  shouted  with  a  loud  voice.  And  people 
think  that  this  was  White  Man's  Land  or  Great 

In  testimony  of  the  foregoing,  as  placing  be- 
yond the  region  of  doubt  the  reality  of  Thorfinn's 
voyage  to  America,  and  his  presence  in  that  part 
of  the  country  of  which  we  have  spoken,  is  the 
runic  inscription  found  on  the  eastern  coast  in  the 
neighborhood  of  Providence  about  the  middle  of 
the  seventeenth  century.  According  to  Professor 
Pafn  and  Fin  Magneusen,  to  whom  a  photograph 
copy  was  forwarded  to  Copenhagen,  the  rude  com- 
bination of  figures  is  illustrative  of  the  visit  of 
the  Northmen  to  the  countrv,  the  name  of  Thor- 
finn  and  the  number  of  his  companions  being  en- 
graved on  the  rock. 

The  geographical  notices  contained  in  the  vel- 
lum and  Gripla  codexes  are  equally  satisfactory: 
"  South  of  Greenland  is  Helluland,  next  lies  Mark- 
land,  thence  it  is  not  far  to  Vinland  the  good,"  etc. 
And  in  the  Gripla  it  is  said:  "Now  it  is  to  be  men- 
tioned what  lies  opposite  Greenland,  out  from  the 
Bay;  it  is  Furdustrander;  there  are  strong  frosts 
there,  so  that  it  is  not  habitable  as  far  as  is  known. 
South  from  thence  is  Helluland,  which  is  called 
Skrelingsland;  south  from  thence  it  is  not  far  to 
Vinland  the  good,"  etc.1 

There  can  be  no  possible  mistake,  then,  that  the 

(1)     Antiq.  Amur.:  p.  215. 


Vinland  and  White 'Man's  Land,  or  Great  Ireland, 
spoken  of  in  the  text,  formed  part  of  the  Atlantic 
border  of  North  America.  But  in  the  manuscripts 
from  which  we  have  quoted,  it  is  expressly  stated, 
that  communication  existed  between  that  country 
and  Ireland;  that  Ari  Marson  was  baptized  there 
and  recognized  by  Irishmen;  hence  it  is  to  be 
certainly  concluded  that  some  Irish  Christians 
existed  in  the  country  previous  to  the  eleventh 

Such,  indeed,  is  acknowledged  by  the  greatest 
and  most  accurate  of  modern  investigators.  Speak- 
ing on  the  subject,  Baron  Yon  Humboldt  says: 
"  In  the  older  Sagas — the  historical  narratives  of 
Thornfinn  Karlsefne,  and  the  Icelandic  Landnam- 
abock — the  southern  coasts  between  Virginia  and 
Florida  are  designated  under  the  name  of  the 
Land  of  the  White  Men.  They  are  expressly  called 
Great  Ireland  (Irland-it-Mikla),  and  it  is  main- 
tained that  they  were  peopled  by  the  Irish."2  The 
same  is  also  admitted  by  Mons.  Charney,  the  learn- 

(1)  "  This  country — Vinland — was  supposed  to  be  Huitrarnanna- 
land,  as  it  was  called  (the  Land  of  the  White  Men)  otherwise  called 
Irland-it-Mikla  (Great  Ireland),  being  probably  that  part  of  the  coast 
of  North  America  which  extends  southward  from  Chesapeake  Bay, 
including  North  and  South  Carolina,  Georgia  and  Florida.  Among  the 
Shawanese  Indians,  who  some  years  ago  emigrated  from  Florida,  and 
are  now  settled  in  Ohio,  there  is  preserved  a  tradition,  which  seems 
of  importance  here,  viz:  that  Florida  was  once  inhabited  by  white 
people,  who  were  in  possession  of  iron  implements.  Judging  from  the 
ancient  accounts,  this  must  have  been  an  Irish  Christian  people,  who, 
previous  to  the  year  1000,  were  settled  in  this  region.  The  powerful 
chieftain  Ari  Marson,  of  Reykjanes,  in  Iceland,  was  in  the  year  983 
driven  thither  by  storms,  and  was  there  baptized."  (Abstract  of  the 
Historical  Evidence  contained  in  the  Antiquitates,  or  America  Discovered 
by  the  Scandivanians  in  the  Tenth  Century,  xxxvii.) 

(2)  Humboldt  Cosmos,  vol.  1. 

212  HISTORY    OF    THE 

ed  author  of  the  ancient  cities  and  ruins  of  the 
Americans,1  as  well  as  by  Beamish.  After  quoting 
Professor  Rafn's  words  to  the  effect  that  the  coun- 
try south  of  the  Chesapeake  Bay,  including  North 
and  South  Carolina,  Georgia  and  East  Florida  was 
the  part  called  White  Man's  Land,  the  last  con- 
tinues thus:  "  From  what  cause  could  the  name  of 
Great  Ireland  have  arisen,  but  from  the  fact  of  the 
country  having  been  colonized  by  the  Irish?  Coming 
from  their  own  green  island  to  a  vast  continent, 
possessing  many  fertile  qualities  of  their  native 
soil,  the  appellation  would  have  been  natural  and 
appropriate;  and  costume,  color  or  peculiar  habits 
might  have  readily  given  rise  to  the  country  being 
denominated  White  Man's  Land." 

Nor  should  it  be  supposed  that  the  Irish  would 
have  found  it  impossible  to  have  reached  the 
American  shores  at  that  period;  for,  as  has  been 
shown,  they  discovered  and  inhabited  Iceland, 
previous  to  the  ninth  century;  for  the  accom- 
plishment of  which,  they  had  to  traverse  a  stormy 
ocean  of  several  hundred  miles.  And,  we  are 
told  by  O'Halloran,  who  gives  as  his  authority  the 
Psalter  of  Cashel,  the  oldest  Irish  mauuscript  ex- 
tant, of  a  great  expedition — a  numerous  fleet  hav- 
ing been  prepared  by  Moghcorb,  king  of  Leath 
Mogha,  in  the  year  of  our  Lord  296,  with  which 

(1)  Dans  les  Sagas  Islandaises  tonte  lacontree  comprenant  le  Texas 
la  peninsule  Floridienne  et  les  bords  du  Mississippi,  la  Georgie,  ac- 
tuelle  et  les  Carolines,  est  designee  sous  le  nom  d'  Irland-et-Mikla  ou  la 
Grande  Irlande,  et  par  celui  de  Hvitranianaland  ou  la  Terre  des  homines 
blancs."     (Cites  ei  Euines  Americaines:  Charney,  Paris,  1861,  p.  18.) 


he  invaded  Denmark.  Also,  in  367,  Criomthan, 
who  is  styled  monarch  of  Ireland  and  Albany,  dis- 
patched a  powerful  fleet  to  Scotland,  in  behalf  of 
the  Picts  against  the  Romans ;  while  still  later,  in 
396,  Niall  of  the  nine  hostages,  sent  what  O'Hal- 
loran  terms  a  numerous  navy,  for  a  like  purpose- 
Independent  entirely  of  the  foregoing — resting 
solely  on  the  ancient  Irish  traditions  which  were 
known  to  exist,  and  were  received  in  different 
parts  of  the  continent  of  Europe,  it  is  almost  im- 
possible to  arrive  at  any  other  conclusion,  than 
that  America  was  visited  by  Irishmen,  long  before 
the  arrival  of  the  Spaniards  in  the  fifteenth  cen- 
tury. Every  one  acquainted  with  the  history  of 
Ireland,  must  be  aware  that  there  existed  in  the 
country,  from  the  earliest  time,  a  tradition  of  the 
voyage  of  St.  Brennen,  or  Brandon,  to  the  west. 
St.  Brandon  was  born  about  the  year  485,  and  un- 
dertook his  voyage,  it  is  thought,  in  545.  The 
local  traditions  of  his  adventure  still  exist  on  the 
west  coast  of  Ireland ;  but  he  was  not  the  first  of 
whom  tradition  speaks,  as  having  crossed  the  At- 
lantic. Barinthus,  his  cousin,  it  is  said,  had  pre- 
ceded him;  from  whom,  having  learned  an  account 
of  the  country,  and  the^great  number  of  idolators 
who  inhabited  it,  he  resolved  to  carry  to  them  the 
tidings  of  redemption.  The  particulars  of  the 
tradition  are  embodied  in  the  following:  "We 
are  informed  that  Brandon,  hearing  of  the  previ- 
ous voyage  of  his  cousin  Barinthus,  in  the  western 

214  HISTORY    OF    THE 

ocean,  and  obtaining  an  account  from  him,  of  the 
happy  isles  he  had  landed  on  in  the  far  west,  de- 
termined, under  the  strong  desire  of  winning 
heathen  souls  to  Christ,  to  undertake  a  voyage  of 
discovery  himself.  And,  aware  that  all  along  the 
western  coast  of  Ireland,  there  were  many  tradi- 
tions respecting  the  existence  of  a  western  land, 
he  proceeded  to  the  island  of  Arran,  and  there 
remained  for  some  time,  holding  communication 
with  the  venerable  St.  Enda,  and  obtaining  from 
him  much  information  on  what  his  mind  was  bent. 
There  can  be  little  doubt  that  he  proceeded  north- 
ward along  the  coast  of  Mayo,  and  made  inquiry 
among  its  bays  and  islands,  of  the  remnant  of  the 
Tuatha  Danaan  people,  that  once  were  so  expert 
in  naval  affairs,  and  who  acquired  from  the  Mi- 
lesians that  overcame  them,  the  character  of  being 
magicians,  for  their  superior  knowledge.  At  In- 
niskea,  then,  and  Innisgloria,  Brandon  set  up  his 
Cross,  and  in  after  time,  in  his  honor,  were  erected 
those  curious  remains  that  still  exist. 

Having  prosecuted  his  inquiries  with  all  dili- 
gence, Brandon  returned  to  his  native  Kerry,  and 
from  a  bay,  sheltered  by  a  lofty  mountain,  that  is 
now  known  by  his  name,  he  set  sail  for  the  At- 
lantic land;  and,  directing  his  course  toward  the 
southwest,  in  order  to  meet  the  summer  solstice, 
or,  what  we  would  call  the  tropics,  after  a  long 
and  rough  voyage,  his  little  bark  being  well  pro- 
visioned, he  came  to  summer  seas,  where  he  was 


carried  along,  without  the  aid  of  sail  or  oar,  for 
many  a  long  day.  This,  it  is  to  be  presumed,  was 
the  great  gulf  stream,  and  which  brought  his  ves- 
sel to  shore,  somewhere  about  the  Virginia  capes,  or 
where  the  American  coast  trends  eastward,  and 
forms  the  New  England  States. 

Here  landing,  he  and  his  companions  marched 
steadily  into  the  interior,  for  fifteen  days,  and  then 
came  to  a  large  river,  flowing  from  east'to  west; 
this,  evidently,  was  the  Ohio.  And  this  the  holy 
adventurer  was  about  to  cross,  when  he  was  ac- 
costed by  a  person  of  noble  presence — but  whether 
a  real  or  imaginary  man,  does  not  appear — who 
told  him  he  had  gone  far  enough;  that  further  dis- 
coveries were  reserved  for  other  men,  who  would, 
in  due  time,  come  and  christianize  all  that  pleasant 

The  above,  when  tested  by  common  sense, 
clearly  shows  that  Brandon  landed  on  a  continent, 
and  went  a  good  way  into  the  interior,  met  a  great 
river,  running  in  a  different  direction  from  those  he 
heretofore  had  crossed,  and  here,  from  the  difficulty 
of  transit,  or  want  of  provisions,  or  deterred  by 
increasing  difficulties,  he  turned  back;  and,  no 
doubt,  in  a  dream,  he  saw  some  such  vision, 
which  embodied  his  own  previous  thoughts,  and 
satisfied  him  that  it  was  expedient  for  him  to  re- 
turn home.  It  is  said  he  remained  seven  years 
away,  and  returned  to   set  up  a  college  of  three 

216  HISTORY    OF    THE 

thousand  monks,  at  Clonbert,  and  then  died  in  the 
odor  of  sanctity."1 

In  the  foregoing,  the  reader  will  not  have  failed 
to  observe,  that  as  St.  Brandon,  who  was  born  in 
485,  found  several  traditions  existing  in  the  coun- 
try, regarding  the  existence  of  a  western  land,  and 
the  connection  therewith  of  the  names  of  the  Tu- 
atha  de  Danaans,  it  is  by  no  means  improbable, 
that  even  before  the  introduction  of  Christianity 
into  Ireland,  America  was  visited  by  Irishmen. 
Indeed,  the  very  accounts  given  by  Irish  histo- 
rians, of  the  overthrow  and  dispersion  of  the  Ne- 
medians,  would  seem  to  favor  this  opinion;  for, 
being  overcome  by  the  Fomarians,  one  thousand 
eight  hundred  years  oefore  Christ,  they  split  into 
three  bodies,  and  betook  themselves  to  sea,  in 
quest  of  other  lands;  some,  as  is  supposed,  finding 
a  home,  for  the  time,  in  North  Britain;  while  oth- 
ers proceeded  to  more  northern  countries,  for  a 
like  purpose.  To  this,  we  shall  refer  in  a  subse- 
quent chapter,  as  tending  to  explain  the  most  dif- 
ficult problem  of  American  history — the  origin  of 
the  mounds,  fortifications,  viaducts  and  other  evi- 
dences of  ancient  civilization,  everywhere  found 
on  the  American  continent. 

As  to  the  fact  of  the  voyage  of  St.  Brandon, 
the  traditions  concerning  it  were  not  merely  con- 
fined to  the  country  of  the  Saint,  but  were  widely 

(1)     Olway's  Sketches:  pp.  98-99. 


diffused  through  the  continent  of  Europe.1  In 
the  thirteenth  century,  Jacobus  Voraginius,  Bishop 
of  Genoa,  celebrated  the  Saint's  voyage,  in  the 
poem  called  the  "  Golden  Legend,'1  and  in  the  map 
drawn  up  for  Columbus,  prior  to  his  voyage  of  dis- 
covery, by  Toscanelli,  of  Florence,  St.  Brandon's 
land  is  expressly  marked,  from  all  which,  it  is  to 
be  concluded  that  the  voyage  of  the  Saint  was  not 
an  imaginary  but  a  real  one,2  and  that  from  his 
presence  in  the  country,  or,  from  the  other  Irish, 
who  have  been  shown,  from  Icelandic  histories,  to 
have  been  on  the  coast  at  a  later  date,  may  have 
come  those  manifestly  Christian  traditions,  doc- 
trines and  practices,  found  to  exist  in  California, 
on  the  arrival  of  the  Spaniards,  and  of  which  we 
have  spoken  above. 

(1)  Vide  Usher's  Antiq.  of  British  Churches  ;  Epistles  of  Irish  Saints  > 
Humboldt's  Cosmos:  vol.  I. 

(2)  Irish  Settlers  in  North  America:  vol.  I.,  p.  21. 

Note  . — The  extracts  from  the  original  Icelandic  will  be  found  in  Note 
at  end  of  volume. 

218  HISTORY    OF    THE 


Reduction  of  the  Country  by  the  Civil  Authoeity  found  to  be 
Impossible.  —  It  is  offeeed  to  the  Jesuits.  —  They  Refuse. — 
Fathee  Kuhno  peoposes  to  undeetake  the  work.  —  He  is 
Joined  by  Fathee  John  Salya  Tiekra.  —  Their  Chaeactees. — 
Theie  Peeseveeing  Efforts  to  obtain  permission  to  enter 
the  Country. — Their  Success.  —  Father  Tierra  Sails  for 
California.  —  The  Lives  of  the  Christians  in  danger  from 
the  Natives. — Father  Piccolo  arrives. —  Danger  again  feom 
the  Natives. — Ceitical  Position  of  the  Cheistians. —  Theie 
Provisions  are  exhausted.  — On  the  Verge  of  Perishing  from 
want.  ] — They  make  a  Novena.  —  Supplies  arrive. — Father 
Tierea  visits  the  Teibes  in  the  Interior. — Success  during 
the  First  Three  Years. 

On  the  return  of  Admiral  Otanclo's  expedition,  of 
which  we  have  spoken  in  the  opening  chapter,  after 
an  absence  of  three  years,  during  which  two  hun- 
dred and  twenty-five  thousand  dollars  of  the  royal 
exchequer  were  fruitlessly  wasted,  the  probability 
of  reducing  the  country  by  such  means  was  taken 
into  the  serious  consideration  of  Government.  In 
a  council  held  on  the  occasion,  after  mature  de- 
liberation, the  conquest  of  California  was  declared 
entirely  impracticable  by  the  civil  authorities. 
But  that  such  a  dependency  might  not  be  lost  to 
the  crown,  it  was  proposed  to  entrust  its  reduction 
to  the  Jesuit  Fathers,  with  an  offer  of  the  neces- 
sary means  to  be  paid  annually  from  the  Govern- 
ment funds. 


Father  An  gel  o  Marras,  the  then  acting  provin- 
cial, with  the  unanimous  consent  of  the  chapter, 
respectfully  declined  the  offer  of  Government,  al- 
leging as  a  reason  the  many  inconveniences  the 
society  would  be  exposed  to  in  taking  upon  itself 
the  temporal  concerns  of  the  country  in  the  man- 
ner  required.     The  Fathers,  however,  expressed 
themselves  ready  to  furnish  a  number  of  mission- 
ary priests,   as  they  had  done  in  the    preceding 
expeditions,   whenever   Government  would  deem 
proper  to   renew  the  attempt.     Thus   the  matter 
was  given  over  as  hopeless,  and  no  further  attempt 
was  made  for  the  ten  following  years.     Meantime, 
he  Almighty,  in  his  ineffable  wisdom  and  good- 
ness, was  preparing  in  the  person  of  an  humble  mis- 
sionary priest,  a  power  which,  when  all  others  had 
failed,  would  prove  eminently  successful  in  accom- 
plishing the  work,  thereby  establishing  the   truth 
of  the   words  :    "  For  the  foolish   things   of  the 
world  hath  God  chosen  that  He  may  confound  the 
wise  ;  and  the  weak  things  of  the  world  hath  God 
chosen,  that  He  may  confound  the  strong.     And 
the   base  things  of  the  world,  and  the  things  that 
are  contemptible  hath  God  chosen,  and  the  things 
that   are    not,    that   He    might   bring   to   nought 
things  that  are  :  that  no  flesh  should  glory  in  His 
sight."  x 

"  Arms  and  men,"  says   Father  Venegas,  "  were 
the  means  for  which  men  relied  for  the  success  of 

(1)  St.  Paul's  First  Epistles  Corinthians:  chap.  1,  v.  27-29. 

220  HISTORY    OF    THE 

this  enterprise.  But  it  was  the  will  of  Heaven 
that  this  triumph  should  be  owing  to  the  meekness 
and  courtesy  of  His  ministers,  to  the  humiliation  of 
His  cross,  and  the  power  of  His  word.  God  seemed 
only  to  wait  till  human  force  acknowledged  its 
weakness  to  display  the  strength  of  His  Almighty 
arm,  confounding  the  pride  of  the  world  by  means 
of  the  weakest  instrument.  Possibly  God  was  not 
pleased  to  countenance  the  first  enterprises  to 
California,  whilst  the  capital  object  was  temporal 
good,  and  religion  only  a  secondary  motive.  And, 
on  the  contrary,  lie  prospered  the  design  when 
His  kingdom  was  the  motive,  and  the  advantage 
of  the  monarchy  only  considered  as  a  probable 

After  the  failure  of  the  expedition,  the  mission- 
aries returned  to  their  respective  positions,  but 
the  good  dispositions  they  had  witnessed  in  the 
natives,  made  them  desirous  of  returning  to  a  land 
where  they  might  reasonably  hope  for  the  most 
brilliant  success  as  the  result  of  their  labors.  The 
most  interested  and  confident  in  the  future  success 
of  the  work  was  the  Rev.  Father  Kulmo,  a  man  of 
high  culture,  great  natural  ability,  and  a  profound 
sense  of  religion.  Father  Kiihno  was  equally  re- 
markable for  his  piety,  his  zeal,  and  indefatigable 
exertions  on  behalf  of  religion,  of  which  he  event- 
ually gave  such  remarkable  proofs,  as  for  his 
talent  and  natural  endowments. 

Born  about  the  year  1650,  at  Trent,  he  entered  the 


Society  of  Jesus  at  an  early  period ;  and,  after  com- 
pleting his  course,  in  which  he  was  eminently  dis- 
tinguished, he  was  appointed  Professor  of  Mathe- 
matics in  the  University  of  Ingolstadt,  in  Bavaria. 
Here  he  was  honored  on  account  of  his  eminent 
attainments,  with  the  particular  favors  of  the 
crown.  The  highest  honors  and  dignities  were 
certain  to  follow  in  time;  but  neither  the  favors  of 
the  monarch,  nor  the  applause  of  his  pupils  was 
any  impediment  in  preventing  him  from  devoting 
himself  to  the  wants  of  the  poor  and  abandoned, 
as  an  humble  missionary  priest  to  a  barbarous  race. 
Accordingly,  he  exchanged  the  precincts  of  the 
court  for  the  barren  hills  of  California — the  stu- 
dents of  Ingolstadt,  for  the  poor  savages  of  America. 
Like  his  great  prototype  in  the  east,  Father  Rich- 
ard, de  jNTobili,  his  heart  was  inflamed  with  a 
most  ardent  desire  of  promoting  the  kingdom  of 
God  upon  earth. 

Pursuant  to  a  vow  made  to  his  patron  St.  Fran- 
cis, he  quitted  his  post  of  mathematics  in  Europe, 
and  came  over  to  Mexico,  as  missionary  to  the 
natives.  Such  devotion  in  the  cause  of  religion 
could  not  fail  to  be  attended  with  the  most  favor- 
able results.  Having  proposed  to  himself  the 
Apostle  of  the  Indies  as  his  model  in  life,  he  imi- 
tated his  virtues,  and  practiced  his  austerities. 
His  heart  was  as  large  as  his  intellect.  Not  only 
the  conversion  of  the  savage  inhabitants,  but  their 
amelioration,  both  social  and  religious,  was  the 

222  HISTORY    OF    THE 

first  and  uppermost  thought  in  his  mind.  The 
consummate  knowledge  he  had  of  the  sciences,  as 
well  as  his  gentleness  and  affability  of  manner, 
which  gained  him  an  ascendancy  over  the  minds 
of  others,  contributed  not  a  little  to  aid  him  in 
effecting  his  purpose. 

But,  though  the  prime  mover  and  principal 
agent  in  bringing  about  the  conversion  of  the 
people,  Father  Kuhno  was  not  the  immediate 
instrument  used  by  the  Almighty  for  this  charita- 
ble purpose,  as  we  shall  presently  see.  With  the 
view  of  facilitating  his  entrance  into  California,  he 
solicited  permission  to  labor  in  the  province  of 
Sonora,  at  the  opposite  side  of  the  gulf.  By  this, 
he  contemplated  being  able  to  enter  more  readily 
on  the  field  of  his  labors,  and  the  reduction  of 
the  natives.  On  his  request  being  granted,  he 
started  from  Mexico,  on  the  twentieth  day  of  Octo- 
ber, 1686,  and  traversed  the  country  in  every  di- 
rection, seeking  to  impress  upon  the  minds  of  his 
brethren  the  importance  and  advantage  of  so 
glorious  an  enterprise.  During  the  course  of  his 
travels,  he  was  met  by  the  Rev.  Father  John  Maria 
Salva  Tierra,  a  man  of  like  zeal  and  ability,  of 
much  experience  in  missionary  life,  having  spent 
several  years  among  the  natives  in  the  province  of 

Father  Tierra  was  then  engaged  as  visitor  of 
the  missions  of  Sinaloa  and  Sonora.  His  natural 
abilities,  the  gentleness,  earnestness  and  affability  of 


his  disposition — the  apostolic  spirit  evinced  in  his 
life,  joined  to  his  naturally  robust  constitution, 
recommended  him  to  his  brother  Religious  as  a  man 
eminently  qualified  for  so  arduous  an  undertaking. 
The  description  given  of  him  by  one  who  knew 
him  best,  is  worthy  of  the  reader's  attention : 

"  He  was  of  a  strong,  robust  constitution,  bear- 
ing fatigue  and  hardship  without  affecting  his 
health.  His  judgment  and  prudence  had  recom- 
mended him  to  the  unanimous  approbation  of  the 
society  for  the  high  position  he  had  enjoyed.  He 
was  of  the  most  endearing  gentleness  in  discourse; 
had  all  the  intrepidity  and  resolution  requisite  for 
beginning  and  conducting  the  greatest  enterprises. 
The  opinion  of  his  wisdom  and  intellectual  talent 
had  gained  him  universal  esteem,  which  was  height- 
ened to  veneration  by  his  Christian  virtues." 

Such  was  the  man  destined  by  Heaven  for  the 
introduction  of  Christianity  into  California;  but, 
as  frequently  happens,  even  in  important  concerns, 
undertaken  for  the  glory  of  God,  he  had  to  en- 
counter great  opposition  in  effecting  his  charitable 
purpose.  In  vain  did  he  look  for  encouragement, 
from  the  members  of  his  society,  the  Govern- 
ment, or  the  public.  The  scheme  was  so  large, 
and  the  difficulties  so  great,  while  the  means  at 
disposal,  were,  apparently,  so  inadequate,  that  the 
work  was  consklered  entirely  impracticable  by  all. 
There  was  one,  however — the  man  who  put  the 
project  originally  before  him — who  entered  heartily 

224  HISTORY    OF    THE 

into  his  views,  encouraged  and  sustained  him  in 
his  purpose.  While  enjoying  each  other's  society, 
it  was  the  general  subject  of  conversation,  the  ob- 
ject of  their  thoughts  and  desires.  After  weigh- 
ing the  matter  maturely,  it  was  resolved  to  seek 
immediately  for  permission  to  enter  the  country. 
Father  Tierra  applied  to  the  society  for  permis- 
sion, but  the  provincial,  looking  upon  the  scheme 
as  impracticable,  refused  his  request;  and,  even 
when  repeatedly  urged,  it  met  with  no  better  suc- 
cess. The  proposal  was  also  rejected  by  the  viceroy 
and  council,  on  the  plea  of  the  exhausted  state  of 
the  finances;  although,  as  we  have  seen,  his  Ex- 
cellency and  advisers  had  proposed,  on  the  failure 
of  Otando's  expedition,  to  supply  the  necessary 
expenses  from  the  royal  exchequer. 

Meeting  with  no  encouragement,  either  from  the 
Fathers  of  his  society,  or  from  the  members  of 
Government  in  Mexico,  this  remarkable  man  re- 
solved to  appeal  to  the  sovereign  in  person;  but  in 
this  he  was  doomed  to  a  like  disappointment. 
The  Court  of  Madrid  rejected  his  plan  as  unfeasi- 
ble and  ideal.  In  short,  everything  but  the  faith 
and  confidence  of  the  humble  missionary,  seemed 
to  declare  absolutely  against  him  and  his  project. 
The  country,  the  Government,  the  society,  the 
monarch — all,  in  a  word,  were  opposed  to  his  de- 
signs; but  no  manner  of  obstacles,  or  repulses 
from  those  in  authority,  was  able  to  shake  him  in 
his  firm  resolve.     He  had  trusted  in  God,  the  work 


was  his,  and  the  Lord  was  sure  to  be  his  strength. 
Well,  indeed,  might  he  have  said  with  the  Psalm- 
ist, when  everything  and  every  one  seemed  to 
thwart  his  designs,  and  to  frown  upon  his  purpose, 
"In  te,  Domine,  speravi  non  confundar  in  ae ter- 

Ten  years  were  thus  wasted  in  vain  and  fruit- 
less representations  to  the  civil  and  religious  au- 
thorities, both  at  home  and  abroad.  At  length, 
the  difficulties  seemed  to  give  way:  it  was,  how- 
ever, only  in  appearance;  for  when  Father  Tierra 
and  his  friend,  Father  Kiihno,  arrived  in  Mexico, 
being  led  to  suppose  that  they  would  succeed  in 
their  desires,  their  most  earnest  representations 
for  permission  to  enter  California,  were  met  with 
a  positive  refusal,  and  they  were  obliged  to  return, 
the  one,  to  his  mission  in  the  province  of  Pimeria, 
and  the  other,  to  the  care  of  some  novices  at 

So  many  obstacles  thus  thrown  in  his  way,  and 
such  repeated  refusals  given,  by  those  high  in  au- 
thority, would  have  deterred  any  ordinary  mind; 
but,  as  the  Father  felt  sure  of  his  call,  he  was  not 
to  be  intimidated,  or  driven  from  his  purpose,  by 
the  most  disheartening  refusals,  or  the  sternest 
opposition.  He  repeated  his  request  to  the  Father- 
general  of  the  society,  earnestly  soliciting  permis- 
sion to  enter  on  the  mission.     The  superior  of  the 

society,    at   that   time,    was   Father    Gonzales  de 

226  HISTORY    OF    THE 

Santa  Ella,  a  man   of  remarkable   ability  and  vir- 
tue,  whose   learning,   in  the   University  of  Sala- 
manca, was  as  admired  as  his  zeal  for  the  conver- 
sion   of    the   Moors    was    conspicuous.     In    him, 
Father   Tierra   found   a  sincere  and  devoted  ad- 
mirer and  advocate.     He  was  a  man  of  a  kindred 
mind,  of  the  same  mould   and  cast  of  character, 
learned,  pious,  zealous  and  trustful.     Having  had 
occasion  to  come  over  to  Mexico  at  that  time,  after 
consulting  with  the  Fathers,  the  possibility  of  con- 
verting the  aborigines  and  of  reducing  the  coun- 
try, was,  for  the   first  time,  deemed  a  practicable 
matter;  permission  was  accordingly  granted    for 
undertaking  the  work.     Thus,  after  several  years 
of  trial,  disappointment  and  anxiety,  during  which, 
the  faith  and  perseverance  of  the  Fathers  were 
rigorously  tested,  the  holy  and   zealous   Religious 
had  the  pleasure   of  seeing  one   of  their  most  se- 
rious and  formidable  difficulties  entirely  removed. 
Another  and   almost  equally  formidable  obstacle, 
however,  still  remained  in  their  way ;  for  Govern- 
ment was  unwilling  to  supply  the  necessary  means 
for  undertaking  the  work.     The  meanness  and  im- 
policy of  the  civil  authorities  in  refusing  the  mis- 
sionaries the  necessary  means,  after  having  previ- 
ously  promised    them,    cannot    be    too    severely 
condemned.     But  what  Government  was  unwilling 
to  do,  was  clone  by  the  faith  and  pious  liberality 
of  the  people. 

On  receiving  permission  from  the  General  of  the 


society,   to  enter  on  the   accomplishment  of  that 
work  which  in  vain  had  occupied  the  attention 
of  Government  for  close  upon  two  hundred  years, 
Father  Tierra  proceeded  to  Mexico  to  solicit  the 
alms  of  the  faithful,  for  the  commencement  of  his 
enterprise.     There  he  met  with  valuable  aid  in  the 
person  of  Father  Ugarte,  professor  of  philosophy, 
and   of  whose  missionary  success  we   shall  after- 
wards  speak.     As  the  success  of  the  expedition 
depended  not  so  much  on  the  means  requisite  for 
enabling  the  missionaries   to  land  in  the  country, 
as  upon  maintaining  them  in  the  field  of  their  la- 
bors, a  no  very  inconsiderable   sum  was  required 
for  the  full  accomplishment   of  the  work.     This, 
the  liberality  and  munificence  of  the  faithful  sup- 
plied.     Subscriptions  to    the   amount  of  several 
thousand  dollars  were  soon  in  the  hands  of  Father 
Tierra.     A  government  official,  the  Treasurer  of 
Acapulco,  aided  the  work  with  the   gift  of  a  ves- 
sel, and  the  loan  of  another;  while  the  congrega- 
tion of  Our  Lady  of  Dolores,  in  Mexico  promised 
an  annual  sum  of  five  hundred   dollars  as  a  sub- 
sistence for  one  mission.     To  this  was  added,  by  a 
virtuous  priest  of  Queretaro,  the  munificent  sum  of 
twenty  thousand  crowns,  as  a  fund  for  the  estab- 
lishment of  two  additional  missions,  with  the  fur- 
ther   assurance,   that   he  would    honor    any  bills 
signed  by  the  Fathers. 

Matters  being  thus  happily  arranged  and  every- 
thing pointing  in  the  direction   of  a  prosperous 

228  HISTORY    OF   THE 

issue,  the  sanction  of  Government  was  sought  and 
obtained  for  the  expedition,  though  not  without 
opposition  on  the  part  of  some  members  of  Coun- 
cil. The  royal  warrant  empowering  Fathers 
Kuhno  and  Salva  Tierra  to  take  possession  of  Cal- 
ifornia was  issued  on  the  5th  of  February,  on  the 
following  conditions  :  First,  that  they  should  not 
demand  anything  of  Government  or  draw  for  any 
sums  on  the  treasury  without  the  express  com- 
mand of  his  Majesty;  and,  secondly,  they  were  to 
take  possession  of  the  country  in  the  name  of  the 
Sovereign.  Both  conditions  were  readily  accepted 
by  the  Religious.  By  virtue  of  the  commission 
they  were  empowered  to  enlist,  appoint  and  main- 
tain a  certain  number  of  soldiers  and  commanders, 
retaining  in  their  hands  the  right  of  discharging 
them  for  offences  or  misdemeanors  whenever  ne- 
cessity demanded  it.  In  behalf  of  the  soldiers  it 
was  ordained  that  they  should  enjoy  the  usual  im- 
munities as  if  serving  under  the  crown,  and  that 
their  services  should  be  accounted  the  same  as  in 
war.  Lastty,  the  power  of  appointing  civil  officials 
for  the  administration  of  justice  and  the  internal 
management  of  the  country  was  granted  to  the 

Father  Tierra  took  his  departure  from  Mexico  on 
the  7th  of  February,  two  days  after  he  had  re- 
ceived his  commission  from  Government.  It  was 
not,  however,  till  the  middle  of  October  of  the 
same  year  that  he  was  able  to  sail  on  his  voyage. 


He  was  detained  at  the  harbor  of  Hiaqui  for  sev- 
eral reasons,  but  especially  awaiting  the  arrival 
of  his  friend  and  companion,  Father  Kiihno,  who 
was  to  join  him  in  the  work.  But  he  having  been 
unavoidably  delayed  on  account  of  a  rebellion 
which  broke  out  at  this  particular  time  among  the 
Indians,  Father  Tierra  was  necessitated  to  proceed 
on  his  voyage  alone.  His  entire  expedition 
amounted  only  to  eight  persons — five  soldiers,  in- 
cluding their  commander,  and  three  Indians — re- 
spectively from  the  provinces  of  Sinaloa,  Sonora 
and  Guadalaxara.  Of  the  soldiers,  one  was  a 
Creole,  one  a  Maltese,  a  third  a  Sicilian,  and  the 
fourth  a  Peruvian  mulatto.  With  this  insignifi- 
cant band  the  Father  started  on  his  voyage,  and 
after  a  prosperous  sail  of  three  days,  landed  in 
California,  in  St.  Denis'  Bay,  on  the  19th  of  Octo- 
ber, 1697,  a  clay  ever  memorable  in  the  annals  of 
the  Calif ornian  Church.  A  suitable  place  near  the 
shore  having  been  chosen  for  the  encampment,  the 
provisions,  animals  and  baggage  were  landed  from 
the  vessel.  Temporary  barracks  were  erected  for 
the  soldiers,  a  hut  served  for  a  chapel,  while  the 
symbol  of  the  Christian  religion,  decorated  with 
garlands  of  flowers,  was  erected  in  a  prominent 
position,  never  again  to  be  removed  from  the 

The  immaculate  Mother  of  God  having  been 
chosen  patroness  of  the  mission,  her  statue  was 
brought  in  procession  from  the  vessel  and  placed 

230  HISTORY    OF    THE 

in  the  church.  Thus,  under  such  humble,  yet  not 
entirely  unfavorable  auspices,  was  the  first  Catho- 
lic mission  for  the  conversion  of  the  Californian 
aborigines  begun  by  the  Rev.  Father  John  Maria 
Salva  Tierra  of  the  Society  of  Jesus,  on  the  19th 
day  of  October,  in  the  year  of  our  Lord  1697.  On 
the  25th  of  the  same  month  possession  was  form- 
all}'  taken  of  the  country  by  the  Father,  in  the 
name  of  his  majesty,  Philip  Y. 

Father  Tierra,  now  finding  himself  alone  in  the 
field  of  his  labors  for  which  he  had  so  long  and  so 
persistently  petitioned,  must  naturally  have  felt 
the  weight  and  responsibility  of  his  position.  Be- 
fore him  lay  the  whole  of  Lower  and  Upper  Cali- 
fornia, with  their  thousands  of  barbarous  inhabi- 
tants, for  the  conversion  and  civilization  of  whom 
he  had  entirely  to  rely  on  the  mild  and  persuasive 
words  of  the  gospel.  For  the  accomplishment  of 
his  purpose  he  applied  himself  in  the  first  instance 
to  the  acquisition  of  the  vernacular.  The  difficul- 
ties he  had  to  contend  with,  however,  lay  not  en- 
tirely in  his  unacquaintance  of  the  language.  They 
were  of  a  more  formidable  and  exceptional  char- 
acter. To  the  rudeness,  barbarity  and  ignorance 
of  the  people,  the  ordinary  lot  of  every  Apistle, 
was  also  to  be  added  the  still  more  formidable  im- 
pediments— the  rude  and  inhospitable  nature  of 
the  country,  to  which  is  to  be  attributed  the  fail- 
ure of  so  many  and  such  important  expeditions 
undertaken  by  Government  and  private  specula- 

,/t  ft.  >  >     A,   / 



tion  during  the  century  and  a  half  previous.  The 
difficulty,  too,  of  obtaining  through  agents  from 
the  charity  of  the  faithful  what  was  denied  them 
by  Government  as  well  as  the  very  precarious  ar- 
rival of  the  supplies,  even  when  forwarded  from 
Mexico,  rendered  the  work  obviously  arduous  in 
the  extreme.  But  inasmuch  as  his  mission  was 
approved  of  by  Heaven,  difficulties  were  not  suf- 
fered to  interfere  with  its  progress. 

To  obtain  the  more  readily  the  affections  of  the 
inhabitants,  Father  Tierra  had  recourse  in  the  first 
instance  to  those  natural  means  best  calculated  to 
win  the  esteem  of  the  savages.  To  this  end  he 
distributed  daily  amongst  them  a  quantity  of 
pozzoli,  or  rice,  of  which  they  were  exceedingly 
fond,  but  on  the  condition  of  their  learning  some 
prayers  and  attending  the  catechism.  This  they 
continued  to  do  for  a  time,  but,  liking  the  pozzoli 
better  than  the  prayers,  they  sought  for  the  one 
while  they  neglected  the  other.  The  Father's  re- 
fusal to  grant  their  request  was  near  leading  to  the 
worst  and  most  deplorable  consequences.  It  so 
angered  their  feelings  as  to  arouse  all  the  savage 
characteristics  of  their  nature,  and  they  resolved 
to  get  possession  of  all  by  murdering  the  Father 
and  his  companions.  ,  In  this  they  must  necessarily 
have  succeeded  had  not  the  providence  of  God  in- 
terposed in  behalf  of  the  Christians.  They  had 
pitched  upon  the  31st  of  October  for  the  accom- 
plishment of  their  wicked  design,  but  God,  who  is 

232  HISTORY    OF    THE 

ever  present  with  his  faithful  apostles,  defeated 
their  purpose  in  the  following  remarkable  manner: 
One  of  their  number,  a  chief,  happening  to  be 
ill,  and  having  formed  the  desire  of  dying  a  Chris- 
tian, informed  the  Father  of  the  people's  intent, 
and  thus  enabled  him  to  take  the  necessary  pre- 
cautionary measures.  These  measures,  however, 
might  have  proved  entirely  inadequate  had  not  the 
presence  of  a  vessel  in  the  harbor  dispirited  their 
numbers ;  but  as  the  vessel  made  only  a  little  delay 
they  quickly  resumed  their  former  hostility.  A 
fortnight  was  thus  passed  by  the  Father  and  his 
companions  in  the  greatest  trepidation  and  danger. 
Night  and  day  they  were  constantly  on  guard  ex- 
pecting momentarily  to  be  attacked  by  the  sav- 
ages. At  length,  on  the  13th  of  November,  the 
natives  determined  to  carry  out  their  design.  The 
attack  was  commenced  by  a  shower  of  stones  and 
arrows  from  some  five  hundred  Indians,  who 
rushed  upon  the  camp  from  different  quarters. 
Then  the  great  body  advanced,  shouting  and  vocif- 
erating most  wildly,  but  they  were  presently  re- 
pulsed by  the  bold  and  daring  attitude  of  the 
Christians.  It  may,  however,  be  more  correct  to 
identify  the  safety  of  the  Father  and  his  compan- 
ions with  the  special  protection  of  Heaven  vouch- 
safed in  so  noble  a  cause,  for  otherwise  it  is  diffi- 
cult to  see  how  some  hundreds  of  exasperated 
savages  would  not  have  rushed  upon  that  mere 
handful  of  Christians,  or  that  some  of  their  arrows 


in  whose  use  they  were  such  experts,  would  not 
have  proved  fatal  to  the  same. 

A  few  effective  shots  from  the  beginning  would, 
indeed,  have  gone  far  to  dispirit  their  numbers  ; 
but  as  the  Father  would  not  permit  them  being 
fired  on  till  matters  came  to  the  greatest  extremity, 
the  natives  were  emboldened,  and  the  action  con- 
tinued for  a  couple  of  hours,  when  the  whole  body 
precipitately  retired,  but  only  to  return  with  ad- 
ditional fury  and  additional  numbers.  The  Chris- 
tians, now  finding  themselves  sore  pressed  by  the 
enemy,  were  necessitated,  unless  they  desired  to 
part  with  their  lives,  to  make  use  of  the  piece  of 
artillery  which  they  had  in  the  camp;  but  un- 
happily, instead  of  being  a  means  of  defence  it 
was  well-nigh  near  being  a  cause  of  defeat,  for 
bursting  at  the  first  shot  it  flew  into  several  pieces, 
without,  however,  producing  any  more  unfavorar 
ble  result  than  that  of  frightening  the  garrison 
and  encouraging  the  enemy. 

The  Indians,  on  noticing  the  result  and  seeing 
that  no  damage  was  caused  to  their  numbers,  con- 
cluded that  as  the  cannon  was  ineffectual  the  mus- 
kets were  doubly  sure  to  be  so,  an  opinion  in  which 
they  were  confirmed  by  reason  of  the  fact  that  the 
soldiers  were  commanded  by  the  Father  to  fire  in 
the  air,  and  not  at  the  men.  The  attack,  how- 
ever, becoming  more  desperate,  and  the  Father 
having  barely  escaped  with  his  life,  orders  were 
given  by  the  commander  to  fire  upon  the  enemy, 

234  HISTORY    OF    THE 

when  presently,  terrified  by  the  effects  of  the 
musketry,  the  assailants  retired  in  disorder  and 
betook  themselves  precipitately  to  flight. 

The  salutary  effect  of  this  lesson  was  quickly 
experienced  by  the  Christians,  for  after  a  little  a 
deputation,  headed  by  one  of  the  chiefs,  waited 
on  the  garrison,  declaring  their  sorrow  for  having 
attempted  the  lives  of  their  benefactors.  A  little 
later  on  another  deputation,  consisting  of  women 
and  children,  arrived  with  a  similar  object.  Father 
Tierra,  it  is  hardly  necessary  to  remark,  received 
them  with  kindness  and  affection,  and  after  pointing 
out  to  them  the  enormity  of  their  crime,  distributed 
among  them  several  presents  as  a  pledge  of  for- 
giveness. That  night  solemn  thanksgiving  was  re- 
turned to  God  and  the  immaculate  Virgin  for  the 
signal  protection  afforded  the  garrison  on  that  try- 
ing occasion.  On  the  following  morning  one  of 
the  vessels  belonging  to  the  mission,  laden  with 
provisions,  arrived  in  the  bay — a  circumstance 
which  added  not  a  little  to  the  general  joy  and  re- 
joicing occasioned  by  the  success  in  the  attack  of 
the  natives.  Father  Tierra,  thus  seeing  the  pro- 
tection of  Heaven  so  manifestly  vouchsafed  to 
him  in  the  victory  and  opportune  arrival  of  the 
supplies,  became  doubly  active  in  the  discharge  of 
his  functions,  relying  in  all  things  for  success  on 
the  power  and  favor  of  Heaven. 

The  business  of  the  mission  was  again  regularly 
resumed;  the  storm  had  blown  over;  the  natives 


were  returned,  and  everything  looked  cheerful  and 
hopeful  as  before.  Father  Tierra  now  reaped  the 
first  fruit  of  his  mission.  The  sick  chief,  of  whom 
I  have  spoken  above  as  having  informed  the  Fath- 
er of  the  intended  attack  on  his  life,  was  formally 
received  into  the  church.  The  circumstances  con- 
nected with  his  conversion  were  so  remarkable 
that  they  deserve  to  be  noticed.  Ten  years  prev- 
ious, during  the  time  of  Otando's  expedition  in 
the  country,  he  had  received  a  slight  knowledge 
of  the  religion,  but  was  not  received  into  the 
church.  Meantime,  between  then  and  the  arrival 
of  the  Fathers,  it  pleased  the  Almighty  to  afflict 
him  with  an  incurable  disease — a  terrible  cancer, 
whose  ravages  were  fortunately  stayed  till  the 
coming  of  the  missionaries.  On  learning  of  their 
landing  he  immediately  hastened  to  their  presence 
as  speedily  as  possible,  and  had  the  double  con- 
solation of  receiving  the  holy  sacrament  of  baptism 
and  of  saving  the  lives  of  the  Christians,  as  we 
have  seen.  His  death  was  rendered  still  more 
consoling  from  the  fact  that  he  had  the  pleasure 
of  seeing  his  children  also  received  into  the  church. 
Two  other  children  and  an  adult  were  likewise 
baptized  at  this  time,  to  the  great  edification  of 
the  garrison  and  the  ^consolation  of  the  Fathers. 

While  matters  were  thus  satisfactorily  progress- 
ing, Father  Tierra,  was  joined  by  his  friend  and 
co-laborer,  Father  Francis  Piccolo,  who  had  been 
detained  at  Hiaqui,  on  business.  The  new  Father's 

236  HISTORY    OF    THE 

arrival  brought  the  greatest  consolation  to  the 
heart  of  the  Apostle.  Writing  to  a  friend  on  the 
subject,  he  sa}7s:  "I  cannot  express  to  you  the 
comfort  his  coming  has  given  me;  not  so  much  for 
my  own  person  alone,  as  for  the  Spaniards  and  In- 
dians; for  the  conversion  of  the  latter  has  now  an 
appearance  of  certainty.  Henceforth,  the  stand- 
ard of  Christ  will  not  be  removed  from  these 
countries,  and  Mary  will,  undoubtedly,  lay  the 
foundation  of  her  holy  house  among  the  elect." 

In  order  to  fortify  themselves  against  any  sud- 
den attack  on  the  part  of  the  natives,  as  also  to 
add  more  to  their  personal  comfort,  the  Fathers 
and  soldiers  now  began  the  erection  of  works  of 
defence,  and  the  enlargement  of  their  dwellings. 
The  former  consisted  of  a  trench  and  a  palisade, 
drawn  round  the  camp,  and  the  latter  of  huts  for 
the  Religious  and  their  companions.  A  little 
chapel,  formed  of  clay  and  stone,  with  a  thatched 
roof,  was  erected,  under  the  patronage  of  the  Vir- 
gin, and  took  the  place  of  the  tent  which  hitherto 
served  for  that  purpose.  In  the  interval  between 
then  and  the  great  festival  of  Christmas,  every 
preparation  was  made  for  the  dedication  of  the 
little  building,  the  first  permanent  one  of  the 
kind  which  had  been  erected  on  Californian 
soil.  The  pomp  and  ceremony  usual  on  such 
occasions  were,  in  great  measure,  compensated 
for  by  the  number  of  masses,  and  the  fervent 
devotion  of  the  Christians. 


Letters  demanding  an  additional  number  of 
missionaries  and  troops,  were  forwarded  at  this 
juncture,  to  Mexico  —  a  precaution,  which,  as 
far  as  the  military  were  concerned,  evinced  a  care- 
ful prudence  and  foresight  on  the  part  of  the 

Up  to  this  time,  the  general  impression  in  the 
minds  of  the  natives  was,  that  the  Spaniards  had 
come  to  the  coast  with  the  object  of  fishing  for 
pearls,  and  trading  with  the  inhabitants.  But 
when  they  came  to  find  out  that  their  purpose  was 
of  a  different  nature — the  establishment  of  religion 
— their  evil  propensities  were  immediately  awak- 
ened, and  a  bitter  antipathy  created  in  their  minds 
against  the  Religious  and  their  doctrines.  The 
teachers,  whose  authority  and  gains  had  suffered 
by  the  influence  of  the  Fathers,  were  not  wanting 
in  magnifying  the  causes  of  discontent,  and  there- 
by succeeded  in  increasing  the  rancor  of  the  peo- 
ple. At  the  same  time,  a  part  of  the  people  was 
strongly  inclined  to  the  Fathers,  but  the  majority 
was  on  the  side  of  the  sorcerers.  Their  frequent 
and  bitter  complaints,  at  last  took  the  shape  of 
open  hostilities.  After  destroying  a  boat  belong- 
ing to  the  mission,  a  large  number  of  them  en- 
countered a  few  of  the  troops ;  but,  as  in  the 
former  engagement,  were  speedily  routed;  and, 
what  was  of  still  greater  importance,  seemed  to 
recognize,  in  their  defeat,  their  utter  inability  to 
conquer  the  Christians. 

238  HISTORY    OF    THE 

The  captain  of  the  Europeans  was  for  making 
an  example  of  the  leaders,  but  the  Father  in  whose 
hands  the  entire  control  of  the  garrison  was 
placed,  would  not  listen  to  the  proposal.  He  had 
come  to  preach  the  gospel  of  the  New  Law — to 
set  an  example  of  patience,  forbearance,  and  for- 
giveness of  injuries — and  could  not  see  the  pro- 
priety of  punishing  even  the  guilty.  On  seeing  an 
apparent  repentance  on  the  part  of  the  savages, 
he  granted  them  a  general  pardon  and  forgiveness 
of  the  past.  This  generous  and  ready  forgiveness 
on  the  part  of  the  Father  shows  the  true  charac- 
ter of  the  man,  and  the  spirit  by  which  he  was 
animated,  in  the  same  manner  as  the  revolt  of  the 
natives  reveals  to  the  reader  one  of  the  numerous 
obstacles  and  difficulties  he  had  to  contend  with, 
in  establishing  the  faith  in  the  country.  The  sav- 
age character  is,  in  many  things,  puerile.  It  is 
that  of  the  child  —  fickle,  volatile  and  impet- 
uous, easily  roused,  violent  and  unreasoning,  but 
presently  returning  to  duty  upon  an  exercise  of 

Six  months  had  already  gone  by,  since  the 
Fathers  had  landed.  It  was  now  the  month  of 
April,  that  part  of  the  ecclesiastical  year,  observed 
all  over  the  Catholic  world  with  such  fervor  and 
solemnity.  Those  who  have  had  the  happiness  of 
being  in  Rome,  or  in  any  of  the  other  Catholic 
capitals  of  Europe,  during  the  week  preceding  the 
great  festival  of  Easter,  must  have   been  deeply 


impressed  with  the  solemnity  and  impressiveness 
of  the  Catholic  ritual.  But,  on  the  Californian 
coast  a  century  and  a  half  since,  when  Chris- 
tianity was  only  barely  struggling  into  existence, 
little  could  be  expected.  A  mud  chapel,  with  a 
thatched  roof,  and  little  or  no  interior  decora- 
tions, was  badly  suited  to  elevate  the  mind  and 
impress  the  audience  with  the  solemnity  of  the  oc- 
casion. Yet  it  was,  we  are  told,  with  inexpressi- 
ble amazement  that  the  Indians  beheld,  for  the 
first  time,  in  Father  Tierra's  little  church,  the 
ceremonies  of  Holy  Week.  The  plaintive  chant, 
the  numerous  lights,  the  sacred  vestments,  and  the 
pious  demeanor  of  the  Christians,  struck  them 
with  awe,  and  inclined  them  most  favorably  to- 
ward our  holy  religion. 

The  evil  disposition  of  the  people  in  general,  as 
shown  in  the  late  attempts  on  the  lives  of  the 
Christians,  were  largely  compensated  for  by  the 
piety  and  devotion  of  some  of  the  children. 
u  Such  boys  and  girls,"  writes  Father  Tierra,  in  a 
letter  to  one  of  his  companions,  "  as  were  cate- 
chumens, and  had  been  instructed  in  the  prayers, 
and  other  devotional  exercises,  drew  tears  from 
my  eyes,  particularly  a  little  boy  called  Juanico 
Cavallero,  not  yet  four  years  of  age,  who,  with  his 
little  shell  on  his  head  and  his  wand  in  his  hand, 
conducted  the  questions,  putting  his  little  finger 
to  his  mouth  when  any  one  talked  or  did  any- 
thing wrong.     Sometimes  he  would  take  the  rosa- 

240  HISTORY    OF    THE 

ries  and  reliquaries  of  the  soldiers,  then  fall  on  his 
knees  and  devoutly  kiss  them,  and  put  them  to 
his  little  eyes,  and  bid  all  to  do  likewise ,  and,  if 
any  one  did  not  take  notice,  it  vexed  him  to  such 
a  degree  that  he  was  not  to  be  quieted  till  the 
offender  fell  on  his  knees  and  kissed  a  rosary  or 
reliquary,  while  all  blessed  the  devout  importunity 
of  the  child." 

The  Fathers  had  two  great  sources  of  trial  at 
this  time  well  calculated  to  test  their  faith  and 
confidence  in  God  and  his  Blessed  Mother,  under 
whose  powerful  patronage  the  mission  was  placed. 
The  first  was  the  abrupt  and  entirely  unexpected 
departure  of  the  natives  Catechumens  and  others 
from  the  Mission,  the  cause  of  which,  for  the  time, 
was  unknown  to  the  missionaries.  They  had  gone 
into  the  interior  for  the  gathering  of  the  pithahayas, 
of  which  I  have  spoken  above,  and  which  usually 
occurred  in  the  months  of  June  and  July.  The 
second  was  the  fear  of  being  obliged  to  perish  of 
want,  their  entire  stock  of  provisions  being  re- 
duced to  three  sacks  of  maggoty  maize,  and  three 
of  badly-ground  corn.  As  the  vessel  they  had 
dispatched  for  supplies  had  been  entirely  over 
her  time,  a  circumstance  easily  accounted  for  by 
the  late  tempestuous  state  of  the  weather,  to 
which  her  certain  destruction  had  been  attributed 
by  their  terrified  imaginations,  little  or  no  hope 
was  entertained  by  any  of  a  speedy  relief ;  and  all, 
as  a  necessary  consequence,   looked  forward  with 


the  greatest  apprehension  to  what  seemed  to  them 
their  deplorable  but  inevitable  end. 

The  Fathers,  while  accepting  with  humility  and 
resignation  as  the  will  of  Divine  Providence  their 
critical  condition,  never  failed  to  exhort  those 
under  their  charge  to  faith  and  confidence  in  God ; 
yet,  so  if  necessity  demanded  it,  to  die  cheerfully 
in  the  cause  of  religion.  A  more  trying  and  per- 
ilous condition  does  not  often  fall  to  the  lot  of  the 
missionary  in  a  foreign  land.  On  a  barren,  inhos- 
pitable coast,  deprived  of  almost  all  the  necessaries 
of  life,  and  their  own  and  the  lives  of  their  fellow 
companions  resting  on  the  slender  probability  of 
the  safe  arrival  of  a  vessel  within  a  few  days  !  It 
is  only  in  the  greatest  of  peril  and  need  that  the 
Christian  virtues  appear  entirely  to  advantage. 
Faith,  hope,  and  confidence  are  ever  sure  to  bring  , 
their  reward.  The  mission  had  been  placed  under 
the  auspices  of  the  glorious  Mother  of  God,  she  was 
its  patron  and  protectress  ;  why  not,  therefore, 
supplicate  her  to  hasten  the  propitious  arrival  of  the 
supplies?  The  proposal  was  agreeable  to  all;-  and, 
while  each  encouraged  his  neighbor  to  die  cheerfully 
in  the  cause  of  religion,  should  the  sacrifice  be 
demanded,  a  nine  days  devotion  in  honor  of  the 
immaculate  Virgin  was  immediately  begun.  It  is 
hardly  necessary  to  mention  that  the  fervor  and 
earnestness  of  their  supplications  increased  as  their 
stock  of  provisions   ran   low.     Peril  is  oftentimes 

the  greatest  stimulant  to  piety.     The  man  who  is 

242  HISTORY   OF    THE 

oblivious  of  his  Maker  in  the  time  of  prosperity, 
thinks  of  Him  in  the  hoar  of  adversity. 

The  first  days  of  the  exercises  are  passed,  but 
no  relief  is  obtained.  The  chances  of  life  are  daily 
and  hourly  growing  slenderer  and  slenderer;  at 
length  the  end  of  the  provisions  is  reached. 
Every  face  is  then  turned  to  the  sea.  It  must  be 
presently  one  thing  or  the  other — either  immedi- 
ate relief  or  speedy  death.  Mary  must  either  hear 
their  prayers  and  obtain  their  release,  or  she  must 
close  her  ears  against  their  earnest  and  continuous 
cries.  The  latter  she  is  unable  to  do,  charity 
forbids  it.  The  nine  days  devotions  are  not 
yet  ended,  but  yonder,  on  the  u  deep,  blue  sea," 
the  aid  is  seen.  It  is,  it  is  a  sail!  The  vessel  is 
heaving  to!  and  now,  ye  faint-hearted,  desponding 
Christians,  why  did  you  doubt  ?  Did  you  not  know 
the  Saviour's  word:  "  Amen,  amen,  I  say  to  you;  if 
you  ask  the  Father  anything  in  my  name,  he  will 
give  it  to  you."  Did  ye  not  know,  too,  the  words 
of  Bernard,  Mary's  greatest  servant :  "  It  was 
never  known,  in  any  age,  that  those  who  implored 
thy  aid,  sought  thy  protection,  or  solicited  thy 
mediation,  did  so  in  vain." 

The  day  on  which  the  vessel  arrived  was  the 
twenty-first  of  June,  the  festival  of  St.  Lewis  of 
Gronzaga.  She  brought,  together  with  a  large  and 
ample  supply  of  provisions,  seven  volunteer  sol- 
diers, whose  pious  dispositions  had  prompted  them 
to  offer  their  services  to  the  Fathers. 


The  missionaries  being  now  tolerably  acquaint- 
ed with  the  vernacular,  and  having  abundant 
supplies  for  several  months,  deemed  it  advisable 
to  take  a  general  survey  of  the  country,  and  to 
enter,  if  possible,  into  friendly  relations  with  the 
different  tribes,  with  the  view  of  establishing  mis- 
sions among  them.  In  accordance  with  this  reso- 
lution, Father  Tierra,  accompanied  by  some  of  his 
men,  proceeded  some  distance  into  the  interior, 
to  where  they  had  learned  some  of  the  natives  were 
residing.  Upon  seeing  the  Father  and  his  party, 
the  Indians  became  so  alarmed  that  they  imme- 
diately took  to  the  woods,  and  remained  out  of 
sight  so  long  as  the  Christians  remained  in  the 

The  following  Spring  the  Father  revisited  the 
tribe,  and  with  better  success,  for  their  fears  be- 
ing allayed  from  what  they  had  learned  from  their 
brethren  in  the  interval,  they  received  him  with 
kindness  and  listened  attentively  while  he  spoke 
to  them  on  matters  of  religion.  The  kindness  and 
benevolence  he  evinced  in  their  regard  were  soon 
talked  of  in  the  different  tribes,  and  amongst  others, 
drew  to  the  garrison  a  clan,  or  rancheria,  from 
a  place  called  Vigge  Biabundo,  situated  at  a  con- 
siderable distance  from  the  mission.  Their  object 
was  to  make  the  acquaintance  of  the  Religious,  and 
to  invite  them  to  visit  their  country.  One  of  their 
number,  a  youth  of  remarkable  promise,  showed 
such  an  admirable  disposition  that  he  was  admit- 

244  HISTORY    OF    THE 

ted  to  baptism,  and  shortly  after  one  of  the  Fath- 
ers visited  the  tribe  in  their  home.  They  received 
him  with  the  greatest  affection  and  kindness,  and 
supplied  him  with  all  the  requirements  their  pov- 
erty permitted. 

During  the  days  he  remained  in  the  camp,  the 
news  of  his  arrival  having  spread  through  the 
neighboring  tribes,  he  was  visited  by  Indians  from 
different  parts,  but  as  far  as  his  mission  was  con- 
cerned he  was  unable  to  do  more  than  to  make 
their  acquaintance  and  promise  to  return  on  a  fu- 
ture occasion.  And  it  is  to  be  borne  in  mind  that 
his  object  in  thus  casually  visiting  the  tribes  was 
none  other  than  that  of  determining  the  favorable 
disposition  of  the  people  and  the  facilities  the  lo- 
cality afforded  of  forming  a  permanent  settlement 
there.  As  will  be  seen  in  a  subsequent  page,  sev- 
eral missions  and  rancherias  were  attended  from 
the  principal  settlements :  they  were  what  at  pres- 
ent would  be  regarded  as  out-stations.  The  re- 
quirements indispensably  necessary  for  the  estab- 
lishment of  missions  in  any  part  of  the  country 
were  fertile,  well-watered  valleys,  and  extensive 
pasturage  for  black  cattle  and  horses. 

The  result  of  the  Father's  exertions  during  this 
visit  was  the  baptism  of  several  children  and  the 
instruction  of  a  large  number  of  adults,  in  whose 
hearts  the  first  seeds  of  the  gospel  were  happily 
sown.  But  as  that  part  of  the  country  was  not 
well  suited  for  agricultural  purposes,  Father  Tierra 


shortly  after  returned  to  the  garrison  at  Loretto, 
the  name  given  to  the  mission  already  established ; 
thence  he  despatched  his  co-laborer,  Father  Pic- 
colo, to  the  country  of  the  Viggi,  with  the  view  of 
forming  a  second  mission.  Father  Piccolo  com- 
menced the  good  work  by  constructing  a  few  lit- 
tle huts  for  himself  and  his  followers,  for  it  is  to 
be  remembered  that  there  was  not  a  house,  proper- 
ly so  called,  in  the  entire  country.  The  labor  and 
inconvenience  the  erection  of  the  buildings  entail- 
ed on  him  may  be  judged  from  the  fact  that  he 
he  had  not  only  to  direct  but  to  lead  in  their  con- 
struction as  well  in  preparing  the  mud,  raising  the 
walls ,  hewing  the  wood,  and  roofing  and  thatch- 
ing the  building.  But  of  what  consequence  was 
labor  or  inconvenience  to  such  a  man  when  the 
kingdom  of  God  was  to  be  promoted  thereby  ? 
The  truly  apostolic  missionary  is  ever  ready  to 
sacrifice  his  comfort,  convenience,  liberty,  3rea, 
even  life,  for  the  advancement  of  the  interests  of 
religion.  It  is  the  same  noble,  generous  spirit — 
the  desire  of  winning  souls  to  the  Redeemer — that 
prompts  one  to  live  amid  the  glaciers  of  the  north, 
and  another  under  the  burning  suns  of  the  south 
— that  induces  one  to  adopt  the  habits  of  the  wan- 
dering tribe,  and  another  to  settle  down  in  the 
humble  cot  on  the  coast. 

Three  years  had  now  elapsed  since  the  landing 
of  the  expedition,  and  already  the  second  mission 
was  founded  under  the   patronage  of  the   great 

246  HISTORY    OF    THE 

apostle  of  the  Indies.  There  are  no  means  of  de- 
termining exactly  how  many  conversions  were 
made  up  to  this  period ;  but,  from  the  happy  re- 
sults which  attended  the  Fathers'  exertions  later 
on,  it  is  not  unreasonable  to  suppose  that  even  the 
first  years  of  their  apostolic  career  were  marked 
with  considerable  success.  The  chief  work,  how- 
ever, which  occupied  them  at  the  outset  was  the 
preparation  of  the  people  for  the  future  reception 
of  the  gospel. 

The  joy  the  missionaries  experienced  in  thus  far 
accomplishing  the  work  of  their  master  was  em- 
bittered by  the  narrowness  of  the  circumstances  to 
which  they  were  reduced,  having  out  of  their  mea- 
ger supplies  to  provide  for  the  necessities  of  a  large 
number  of  followers — six  hundred  in  all — both 
Spaniards  and  natives. 



Difficulties  of  the  Missionaries  at  first.  —  They  Petition  the 
vlceeot  for  aid. — they  are  accused  of  avarice. — their  jus- 
TIFICATION.—  Orders  to  the  Mexican  Government,  by  Philip 
V.,  in  favor  of  the  Fathers.  — Prejudice  against  the  Religious. 
—  They  prove  California  to  be  a  Peninsula.  —  Revolt  of  the 
Indians  of  Vigge  Biabundo.  —  Mode  of  Life  at  the  Missions. 
Father  Kuhno's  treatment  of  a  refractory  Indian. — His  suc- 
cess in  reclaiming  the  People.  —  Massacre  of  the  Christians 
at  the  Mission  of  St.  Xavier.  —  Punishment  of  the  Murderers. 

The  numerous  and  expensive  wars  in  which  Spain 
was  engaged,  from  the  accession  of  Philip  II.  till 
the  reign  of  Charles  III.,  is  put  forward  by  some, 
as  a  palliation  for  the  constant  neglect  with  which 
that  country  treated  the  missionaries,  while  labor- 
ing to  extend  the  limits  of  her  possessions  in  this 
part  of  the  world.  The  Mexican  authorities,  too, 
naturally  anxious  to  hasten  to  the  relief  of  the 
monarch,  in  all  his  embarrassments,  forwarded  to 
Europe,  to  be  employed  for  purposes  of  ambition 
and  vanity — instead  of  expending  on  the  require- 
ments of  the  province  those  considerable  sums 
poured  into  the  treasury  by  Cortes,  Pizarro  and 
Almagro.  The  natural  consequence  of  this  short- 
sighted policy,  was  the  discouragement  of  every 
generous  effort  for  the  national  interests  of  the  New 
World,  as  is  clearly  evinced  in  the  treatment  the 
missionaries  received  at  the  bands  of  the  Mexican 

248  HISTORY    OF    THE 

During  the  first  years  of  their  labors,  not  hav- 
ing yet  obtained  any  important  subsistence  from 
the  country,  they  had  to  rely,  almost  entirely,  for 
their  supplies  on  the  vessels  belonging  to  the  mis- 
sions. But,  as  these  were  of  the  poorest  descrip- 
tion, consisting  only  of  three  rickety  barks,  in 
which,  any  one  careful  of  his  life,  would  be  un- 
willing to  sail,  their  lives  were  oftentimes  placed 
in  the  most  imminent  danger.  One  of  them,  the 
San  Fermin,  shortly  after  ran  aground  and  was 
lost,  on  the  Mexican  coast.  To  meet  the  emer- 
gency, Father  Tierra  respectfully  petitioned  the 
viceroy,  requesting  him  to  bestow  on  the  mission 
a  vessel,  to  be  speedily  dispatched  to  the  relief  of 
the  settlers.  He  also  took  occasion  to  point  out 
to  his  excellency,  the  well-grounded  hopes  there 
were  of  the  entire  submission  of  the  country  to 
the  gospel  of  Christ,  and  the  dominion  of  His 
Catholic  Majesty.  The  principal  point,  however, 
in  his  address,  was  the  very  imminent  peril  in 
which  the  settlers  were  placed;  unless  immediate 
relief  was  sent  to  their  aid.  So  urgent  and  rea- 
sonable a  request,  one  would  have  thought,  ought 
to  have  met  with  a  ready  response;  but  the  only 
reception  it  found  at  the  hands  of  the  authorities, 
was  silence  on  the  part  of  the  viceroy,  and  cal- 
umny on  the  side  of  his  subordinates.  For  what 
reasons,  it  would  be  difficult  to  determine,  except 
from  the  promptings  of  an  utterly  malevolent 
mind,  the  Fathers  were  accused  of  dishonesty,  and 


charged  with  the  loss  of  the  vessel.  By  the  de- 
struction of  the  San  Fermin,  the  Religious,  it  was 
said,  were  entertaining  a  hope  of  establishing  a 
claim  on  the  royal  exchequer. 

Such  was  the  manner  in  which  the  faith,  labors 
and  exertions  of  these  generous  and  self-sacrificing 
men  were  shamefully  rewarded  by  their  country 
and  king.  Thoroughly  devoted  to  the  interests  of 
religion  and  the  crown,  they  had  left  their  friends, 
their  homes  and  their  brethren,  and  come  to  these 
barren,  inhospitable  shores,  in  order  to  plant  the 
Cross  in  the  country — to  teach  the  people  the 
way  of  salvation,  and  thereby  to  gain  them 
to  God  and  the  State.  And,  while  nobly  and 
generously  applying  themselves  to  these  lauda- 
ble ends,  amid  a  thousand  dangers,  privations  and 
sufferings,  the  only  reward  they  received  from 
their  own,  was  coldness,  ingratitude  and  calumny. 
But  this  was  not  without  a  purpose  on  the  part  of 
the  Almighty:  the  work  of  God  is  ever  known  by 
tribulation.  It  was  in  suffering  and  sorrow  that 
the  first  foundations  of  the  Church  were  laid.  In 
establishing  His  kingdom  upon  earth,  the  Son  of 
God  drank  deep  of  the  cup  of  affliction,  and  all 
who  come  after  him  must  be  prepared  for  the 

More  with  the  view  of  removing  the  stigma 
from  the  members  of  the  society  than  from  any 
care  of  himself,  Father  Tierra  forwarded  letters  to 
Mexico,  establishing  the  accidental  loss  of  the  ves- 

250  HISTORY    OF    THE 

sel,  and  clearing  himself  of  any  collusion  in  the 
matter.  These  letters,  it  is  consoling  to  think, 
were  sufficient  to  disabuse  the  authorities  of  the 
injustice  of  the  charge,  but  failed  to  move  them  in 
aid  of  the  settlers.  Although  the  critical  state  of 
the  garrison  demanded  the  speediest  aid,  all  that 
could  be  obtained  from  the  Mexican  Government 
was,  that  the  matter  would  be  referred  to  the 
Court  of  Madrid,  ^and  his  majesty's  pleasure  so- 
licited! Even  at  the  loss  to  the  crown  of  the 
country  and  the  colonists,  the  old,  hereditary, 
stately  routine,  was  not  to  be  infringed. 

During  the  years  1698  and  1699,  favorable  ac- 
counts of  the  Fathers'  endeavors  had  been  for- 
warded by  the  viceroy  to  his  majesty  in  council. 
The  death  of  Charles  II.,  at  this  critical  moment, 
diverted  the  minds  of  the  authorities  from  Cali- 
fornian  affairs,  and  thus  prevented  any  succor  be- 
ing"^ granted.  On  the  accession  of  Philip  V.,  or- 
ders were  sent  to  the  Mexican  Government, 
strongly  in  favor  of  the  missionaries,  ordering  that 
all  their  requirements  should  be  supplied,  and  that 
an  annual  sum  of  six  thousand  dollars  be  paid  for 
the  support  of  the  garrison.  This  was  the  first  aid 
received  by  the  Fathers  from  the  authorities.  An- 
other warrant  was  also  issued,  at  this  time,  by  her 
majesty,  Mary  of  Savoy,  in  favor  of  the  Religious  : 

"The  King  and  Queen  Regent,  to  the  Duke  of 
Albuquerque,  my  cousin,  Governor  and  Captain- 
General  of  the  province  of  New  Spain,  and  Presi- 
dent of  the  Royal  Audiencia  of  Mexico,  etc. : 


"  The  Provincial  of  the  Society  of  the  Jesuits,  in 
the  province  of  Toledo,  has  represented  to  me  that 
it  is  now  some  five  years  since  some  missionaries 
of  his  order  undertook  the  spiritual  and  temporal 
conquest  of  the  Californias;  and  that,  in  August 
of  last  year  (1701),  they  had  reduced  the  Indians, 
for  the  space  of  fifty  leagues,  to  a  settled  obedi- 
ence, and  founded  four  towns,  with  above  six 
hundred  Christians,  most  of  them  young,  and  no 
less  than  two  thousand  adult  catechumens,"   etc. 

From  this  the  reader  may  learn  the  result  of 
the  Fathers'  exertions  during  the  first  years  of 
their  missionary  labors,  even  while  thwarted  by 
Government,  and  calumniated  by  foes. 

The  Mexican  authorities  being  engaged  at  this 
time  in  prosecuting  a  war  for  the  subjugation  of 
Florida  and  Texas,  found  means  of  neglecting  the 
royal  instructions,  on  the  plea  of  inability  to  fur- 
nish such  a  considerable  sum.  The  true  cause, 
however,  would  seem  to  have  been  the  antipathy 
that  existed  in  the  minds  of  the  civil  authorities 
against  the  Religious.  Short-sighted,  worldly- 
minded,  indifferent  religionists,  could  never  con- 
ceive how  any,  even  those  dedicated  to  the  imme- 
diate  service  of  God,  would  willingly  expose  them- 
selves to  continual  dangers,  privation  and  suffer- 
ing, without  the  hope  of  an  earthly  reward.  And, 
as  in  the  former  expeditions  undertaken  at  the  ex- 
pense of  the  crown,  many  were  raised  to  a  posi- 
tion of  affluence,  either  by  fishing,  or  trading  for 



pearls,  or  by  moneys  received  from  the  royal  ex- 
chequer, it  was  freely  concluded  that  the  labors 
of  the  Fathers  were  not  entirely  directed  to  the 
glory  of  God,  in  the  conversion  of  the  natives. 
Even  modern  writers,  w'hose  means  of  knowing 
the  truth  have  been  all  that  could  be  reasonably 
desired,  have  unhappily  indulged  in  similar  ideas, 
and  thus  perpetuated  the  calumny  against  the  Re- 
ligious. As  an  instance,  the  following  may  be 
taken  as  an  example:  "In  order  to  prevent  the 
Court  of  Spain  from  conceiving  any  jealousy  of 
their  designs  and  operations,  they  seem  studiously 
to  have  depreciated  the  country,  by  representing 
the  climate  as  so  disagreeable  and  unwholesome, 
and  the  soil  as  so  barren,  that  nothing  but  a  zeal- 
ous desire  of  converting  the  natives  could  have 
induced  them  to  settle  there."1  As  a  Protestant 
and  a  foreigner,  little  else  could  be  expected  from 
the  Principal  of  the  Edinburgh  University ;  but, 
inasmuch  as  he  goes  out  of  his  way  to  misrepre- 
sent the  statement  of  a  Catholic  writer,  he  shows 
the  motive  by  which  he  was  influenced.  Father 
Miguel  Yenegas,  on  whose  authority  he  has  stated 
the  above,  has  not  a  word  about  the  insalubrity  or 
unwholesomeness  of  the  climate,  as  stated  by  Rob- 

As  error  is  more  readily  credited  and  propa- 
gated than  truth,   the  evil  report  no  sooner  got 

(1)  Ifist.  America:  Robertson,  book  7,  p.  75. 

(2)  Venegas:  vol.  I.,  p.  26. 


abroad  than  many  believed,  because  the  Fathers 
were  masters  of  the  country,  they  must  necessarily 
be  in  the  possession  of  fabulous  wealth.  The 
former  accounts  of  the  country,  and  the  really 
valuable  pearls  that  had  been  obtained  by  several 
persons,  augmented  and  confirmed  these  malicious 
reports.  Nor,  indeed,  would  this  be  so  much  to 
be  lamented  had  it  not  tended  from  the  outset  to 
materially  injure  religion  by  cooling  the  ardor 
and  fervor  of  those  who  were  so  liberally  contribut- 
ing in  behalf  of  the  missions.  The  natural  conse- 
quence attending  the  decrease  of  the  pious  dona- 
tions on  the  part  of  the  faithful,  was  the  utter  ina- 
bility of  the  missionaries  to  maintain  any  longer' 
in  the  country  the  European  portion  of  the  com- 
munity. Hence,  with  the  exception  of  a  dozen 
soldiers,  who  voluntarily  remained  as  a  guard  that 
the  Fathers  might  not  be  entirely  abandoned,  the 
others  were  ordered  to  return  to  Mexico.  At  the 
same  time  the  baptism  of  the  catechumens  was 
deferred,  nothing  being  certain  regarding  the  fu- 
ture of  the  mission.  The  perilous  and  utterly  des- 
titute state  of  the  missionaries  at  this  juncture  may 
be  judged  from  the  following  extract  of  a  letter 
from  Father  Tierra — the  superior  of  the  mission — 
to  his  friend,  the  Solicitor  of  Guadalaxara.  After 
acquainting  him  with  the  discharge  of  the  soldiers, 
and  the  reasons  which  necessitated  it,  he  adds: 
"  But  for  the  discharge  of  the  remainder  I  only 
await  the  resolution  of  the  Mexican  Council,  to 

254  HISTORY    OF    THE 

which  I  have  sent  my  final  appeal.  After  the  en- 
tire withdrawal  of  the  soldiers  we  shall  consult 
about  liquidating  the  arrears ;  and  if,  for  want  of 
a  military  force,  our  Californian  sons  should  send 
us  to  give  an  account  to  our  God,  our  Lady  of 
Loretto  will  undoubtedly  look  to  our  debts." 

All  hope  of  Government  aid  being  now  entirely 
precarious,  while  the  wants  of  the  garrisons  be- 
came more  urgently  pressing,  Father  Ugarte,  the 
agent  of  the  missions  at  Mexico,  collected  what 
private  contributions  he  could  and  hastened  to  the 
relief  of  his  brethren,  whom  he  found  in  the  ut- 
most despondency  and  want.  Three  days  after 
his  arrival  they  were  further  relieved  by  the  ar- 
rival of  a  vessel  laden  with  provisions,  which  he 
had  dispatched  to  their  aid  a  little  before. 

The  slowness  and  indifference  of  Government  in 
supplying  the  Fathers  with  the  necessary  means  of 
support;  the  growing  apathy  and  lukewarmness 
of  the  subscribers,  on  account  of  the  above  men- 
tioned reason,  as  well  as  the  difficulty,  delay  and 
uncertainty  of  obtaining  provisions  from  the  op- 
posite coast,  compelled  the  venerable  missionaries 
to  seek  other  and  more  reliable  means  of  support. 
At  the  opposite  side  of  the  Gulf,  in  the  provinces 
of  Sonora  and  Sinaloa,  where  missions  were  es- 
tablished, the  land  was  partially  tilled.  There 
were  also  in  that  region  several  mines  wherein 
Spaniards  were  employed.  To  this,  though  a  poor 
and  unreliable  source,  Father   Tierra   turned   his 


eyes  when  all  other  means  were  denied.  Landing 
on  the  opposite  coast  he  hastened,  without  any  de- 
lay, to  join  his  brother  Religious,  Father  Kuhno, 
who,  as  we  have  seen  in  a  previous  chapter,  in 
common  with  Fathers  Copart  and  Goni,  had  laid 
the  foundations  of  the  Californian  missions.  Like 
Father  Tierra,  Father  Kuhno  was  a  man  of  the 
most  generous  mind  and  the  noblest  ideas.  The 
spiritual  conquest  of  the  natives  as  far  north  as 
the  present  limits  of  Upper  California  was  the  holy 
and  praiseworthy  design  of  those  zealous,  indefat- 
igable souls.  That  they  did  not  accomplish  the 
whole  of  their  purpose  is  not  to  be  attributed  to 
them  as  a  fault,  but  to  the  impolicy  and  injustice 
of  Government  in  driving  them  from  the  country 
at  a  moment  when  their  influence  was  being  ex- 
tensively felt,  and  when  they  had  a  well-grounded 
hope  of  accomplishing  all. 

As  the  spiritual  conquest  of  California  was  as 
much  an  object  of  desire  to  the  one  as  the  other 
of  these  venerable  men,  it  may  be  easily  imagined 
how  readily  the  latter  entered  into  the  feelings  of 
the  former,  and  hastened  with  all  his  endeavors  to 
supply  the  wants  of  his  brethren.  But,  as  the 
cause  of  the  distress  was  likely  to  remain  unless 
other  and  more  precautionary  measures  were  taken, 
it  was  proposed  to  open  a  means  of  communica- 
tion by  land  with  the  missions  on  both  sides  of  the 
Gulf.  But,  as  it  was  not  then  very  certainly 
known  that  California  was  a  peninsula,  it  was  re- 

256  HISTORY    OF    THE 

solved  that  Father  Ktihno  should  make  an  exam- 
ination of  the  coast,  and  establish  beyond  doubt 
the  fact  of  its  being  a  portion  of  the  main  land  or 
not.  Father  Tierra  was  also  to  accompany  him  on 
the  journey.  On  the  1st  of  March,  1701,  they 
started  on  their  expedition,  and  after  a  march  of 
twenty  days  arrived  at  the  junction  of  the  land. 

Satisfied  with  the  object  of  their  inquiry,  they 
returned,  the  one  to  his  mission  in  Sonora,  and 
the  other  to  collect  funds  for  his  Californian  breth- 
ren; a  work  in  which  he  was  engaged  for  some 
weeks,  when  he  returned  to  his  people.  The  joy 
occasioned  by  the  Father's  arrival  at  the  garrison 
with  the  opportune  aid,  was  speedily  followed  by 
the  darkest  and  most  gloomy  forebodings.  Indeed, 
it  appeared  to  be  the  lot  of  these  venerable  men 
to  be  ever  destined  to  suffer  from  one  cause  or 
another.  Coldness,  indifference  and  neglect 
were,  as  we  have  seen,  the  reward  they  received 
from  the  Government;  misrepresentation  and 
calumny  from  their  secular  brethren,  and  dan- 
gers and  perils  from  the  natives.  Well,  indeed, 
might  they  say  with  the  Apostle:  ,(In  journey- 
ing often,  in  perils  of  water,  in  perils  of  robbers, 
in  perils  from  my  own  nation;  in  perils  from  the 
G-entiles,  in  perils  in  the  city,  in  perils  in  the 
wilderness,  in  perils  in  the  sea,  in  perils  from 
false  brethren."1 

When  their  lives  were  not  threatened  by  famine, 

(1)     Second  Cor.:  chap,  xi,  t.  26. 


they  were  in  danger  from  Indians,  and  that  not 
unfrequently  at  times  when  the  means  at  their 
disposal  seemed  utterly  inadequate  to  avert  the 
calamity.  In  the  newly-formed  mission  of  Vigge 
Biabunclo,  the  natives,  instigated  by  the  sorcerers, 
resolved  upon  murdering  the  Father,  and  destroy- 
ing the  settlement;  in  this  they  were  fortunately 
disappointed  by  the  resistance  they  met  with  from 
some  of  their  own,  who  remained  faithful  to  the 
Fathers.  On  a  second  attempt,  however,  they  un- 
happily succeeded  in  destroying  the  church  and 
the  presbytery ;  losses  which,  though  very  consid- 
erable, were  only  a  trifle  when  compared  with  the 
safety  of  the  Religious.  As  this  Mission  was  re- 
garded by  the  Fathers  as  very  important,  the  land 
there  being  remarkably  adapted  to  agricultural 
purposes,  it  was  deemed  proper,  and  in  some  meas- 
ure necessary,  to  restore  it  to  its  former  condition. 
Its  reorganization  was  intrusted  to  1he  care  of  the 
the  Rev.  Father  Ugarte,  as  Father  Piccolo  had  to 
proceed  to  New  Spain  on  business  connected  with 
the  mission. 

To  secure  himself  against  any  sudden  attack, 
he  deemed  it  advisable  to  take  with  him  as  a 
guard  some  of  the  troops;  but,  as  these  became 
troublesome  and  insolent,  he  dispensed  with  their 
services,  and  committed  himself  entirely  to  the 
protection  of  Providence,  a  proceeding  which  at 
once  reveals  his  strong  confidence  in  God,  and  his 

great  zeal  for  the  salvation  of  the  people.     The 

258  HISTORY    OF    THE 

natives  on  seeing  the  soldiers,  imagining  they  had 
come  to  punish  their  crime,  fled  precipitately  to 
the  mountains,  but  when  the  military  had  departed, 
they  returned  gradually  to  the  mission,  and  after 
a  little,  the  Father  had  the  pleasure  of  seeing  him- 
self surrounded  by  the  former  congregation,  man}^ 
of  whom  had  unhappily  the  weakness  of  joining 
the  gentiles  in  their  attack  on  the  church.  In 
reorganizing  the  mission,  Father  Ugarte  had  a 
double  object  in  view.  The  first  was  to  instill  into 
the  minds  of  the  savages  an  elementary  notion  of 
the  Christian  religion,  by  inducing  them  to  be 
present  at  the  offices  of  religion;  second,  to  accus- 
tom them  to  the  cultivation  of  the  land  and  the 
tending  of  the  flocks,  for  he  saw  that  the  success 
of  the  missions,  as  a  whole,  and,  indeed,  for 
that  matter,  the  introduction  of  Christianity  into 
the  country  at  all,  depended  exclusively  on  the 
internal  resources  of  the  peninsula,  and  not  being 
necessitated  to  rely  upon  precarious  supplies  from 
the  coast  of  New  Spain. 

Up  to  this  period,  it  is  important  to  know  that 
nothing  was  raised  in  the  country;  the  clothes 
and  provisions  requisite  for  the  settlers  being 
brought  from  the  opposite  coast,  a  course  which 
was  frequently  attended  with  danger  and  delay. 
Nor  must  it  be  supposed  that  the  Fathers  were  at  <s 
fault  in  not  attending  to  this  want,  for,  at  the 
mission  of  Loretto,  the  ground  was  so  un suited 
for  tillage,  that,  with  the  exception  of  a  garden  for 


vegetables,  they  were  unable  to  raise  any  crops; 
while,  as  regarded  the  other  localities,  the  natives 
were  unwilling  at  first  to  labor  at  their  request. 
It  was,  then,  to  supply  this  serious  defect,  and 
thus  place  the  mission  on  something  like  a  per- 
manent basis,  that  Father  Tierra  sought  to  accus- 
tom the  people  to  work ;  but  as  his  individual  la- 
bors directed  to  this  end  would  be  only  of  trifling 
account,  unless  joined  by  the  Indians,  he  was 
necessitated  to  use  eveiw  means  in  his  power  to 
gain  them  over  to  his  views. 

For  the  accomplishment  of  this,  there  was  re- 
quired all  the  prudence  and  zeal  of  an  Apostle, 
for  the  sloth  and  indifference  of  the  people  were 
most  difficult  to  overcome.  An  idea  of  the  Fa- 
ther's exertions  and  difficulties  may  be  had  from 
the  following:  In  the  morning,  after  the  holy  sac- 
rifice of  the  Mass,  at  which  all  were  required  to 
be  present,  he  distributed  the  pozzoli,  and  set  the 
people  to  work.  Some  were  appointed  for  clear- 
ing and  preparing  the  ground;  others  were  en- 
gaged in  making  the  flumes  for  the  conveyance  of 
water;  while  others,  again,  were  allotted  for  dig- 
ging the  soil  and  planting  the  trees.  To  secure  a 
uniform  attention,  and  induce  all  to  engage  in  their 
respective  employments,  the  Father  had  to  give 
the  example,  and  continue  engaged,  else  they 
would  presently  slacken,  and  lapse  into  their  ac- 
customed indifference  and  natural  sloth.  In  re- 
ality, the  missionary  was  the  hardest  and  severest 

260  HISTORY   OF   THE 

worked  member  of  the  community.  Now,  he  was 
to  be  seen  fetching  the  stones  for  the  building, 
mixing  the  mortar,  or  hewing  the  wood;  again, 
digging  the  ground,  splitting  the  rocks,  or  herding 
the  cattle.  He  had  to  teach  by  example  rather 
than  precept;  nor  was  this  always  sufficient,  for, 
owing  to  the  very  limited  ideas  of  the  people,  and 
the  natural  dullness  of  their  understanding, 
joined  to  their  constitutional  sloth,  and  abhorrence 
of  work,  they  could  not  or  would  not  enter  en- 
tirely into  his  views.  So  great  was  the  difficulty 
he  had  to  encounter,  in  this  particular  alone,  that 
nothing  but  the  most  apostolic  virtue,  the  greatest 
meekness,  affability  and  gravity,  could  enable  him 
to  keep  them  together.  Repeatedly  would  they 
violate  every  rule  set  for  their  observance,  either 
by  coming  too  late,  refusing  to  do  what  was 
commanded,  or  running  away  when  it  suited  their 
purpose;  while  some  went  even  so  far  as  to  con- 
spire against  the  life  of  the  venerable  man.  But 
patience,  meekness  and  zeal,  finally  overcame  their 
evil  propensities,  and  succeeded  in  forming  them 
into  an  obedient,  docile  and  tractable  people. 

Life  at  the  mission,  in  those  days,  was  simple 
and  uniform.  The  mornings  were  spent  as  has 
been  related.  In  the  evening,  after  the  labors 
were  ended,  all  the  community,  native  and  Euro- 
pean, Christian  and  catechumen,  assembled  in  the 
church  for  evening  devotions;  which  consisted  of 
the  ordinary  prayers,  the  rosary,  and  an  explana- 


tion  of  some  point  of  our  holy  religion;  after 
which  they  retired  for  the  night.  At  first,  the 
conduct  of  the  natives,  during  the  catechetical 
instruction,  was  anything  but  respectful..  The 
mistakes,  into  which  the  Father  was  accustomed 
to  fall,  in  the  pronunciation  of  the  vernacular, 
were  the  cause  of  their  mirth;  which,  when  he 
came  to  understand,  he  readily  corrected  the  de- 
fects. In  the  beginning,  however,  he  attributed 
their  merriment  to  a  different  cause;  and,  as  they 
were  not  to  be  restrained  by  entreaties,  he  deter- 
mined to  see  what  impression  a  lesson  of  fear 
might  produce.  Near  him,  and  among  the  most 
troublesome  during  the  sermon,  was  a  chief,  re- 
markable for  his  great  physical  strength  and  for 
his  authority  among  the  people.  Leaning  over 
the  pulpit,  Father  Ugarte,  who  was  a  powerful 
man,  seized  the  chief  by  the  hair  of  the  head, 
lifted  him  from  the  ground,  and  swung  him  from 
side  to  side,  in  the  presence  of  the  people — a  pro- 
ceeding which  so  alarmed  the  people  as  to  pro- 
duce the  contemplated  effect. 

In  a  few  years,  this  venerable  missionary  had 
the  gratification  of  witnessing  the  first  fruits  of 
his  labors.  Many  were  brought  to  a  knowledge  of 
the  Christian  religion^- reclaimed  from  their  wild 
and  barbarous  state,  and  brought  to  live  without 
any  of  the  disorders  or  irregularities  which  had 
hitherto  marked  their  existence.  On  the  other 
hand,  he  had  succeeded  in  supplying  all  their  tern- 

262  HISTORY    OF    THE 

poral  wants,  with  plentiful  harvests  of  different 
cereals — a  result  not  easily  appreciated,  consider- 
ing the  barrenness  of  the  soil  of  Lower  California, 
and  the  very  inhospitable  character  of  the  country 
in  general;  which,  even  yet,  under  modern  skill 
and  modern  appliances,  has  failed  to  produce  any 
important  supplies.  The  Father's  energy  and 
ability  also  enabled  him  to  produce  considerable 
quantities  of  wine,  a  portion  of  which  he  exported 
to  New  Spain,  in  exchange  for  the  more  necessary 
articles.  Still  remaining  was  another  requirement. 
Those  who  had  hitherto  roamed  naked  through  the 
land  had  to  be  provided  with  clothes  and  thus 
taught  the  first  elementary  principles  of  virtue  and 
civilization.  To  this  end,  in  order  to  provide  them 
with  the  necessary  garments,  he  imported  h,  num- 
ber of  sheep  from  the  opposite  coast.  The  prepa- 
ration of  the  wool,  the  spinning  and  weaving  of 
it  into  pieces,  and  its  further  adaptation  to  the  re- 
quirements of  the  people,  were  entirely  his  work. 
He  it  was  who  formed  the  distaffs,  the  wheels,  the 
looms,  and  everything  connected  with  the  manu- 
facture of  the  cloth.  If  later  on,  he  saw  the  ad- 
vantage and  importance  of  employing  mechanical 
aid,  for  forwarding  and  improving  so  beneficial  a 
scheme,  the  credit  is  no  less  due  to  himself,  for 
having  originated  the  work  and  brought  it  to  tol- 
erable perfection. 

The  zeal  and  assiduity  of  Father  Ugarte  in  thus 
providing   for   the  material  requirements  of  the 


people  is  deserving  of  the  highest  commendation, 
not  merely  because  of  the  works  in  themselves  as 
showing  forth  his  charity  and  benevolence  of  pur- 
pose, but  especially  because  of  their  close  and  in- 
timate connection  with  the  existence  and  progress 
of  religion  in  the  country.  The  great  evil,  as  has 
been  remarked,  under  which  the  first  missions  had 
to  labor  was  the  want  of  the  necessary  means  of 
support — a  difficulty  which  could  only  be  success- 
fully combated  by  producing  the  requisite  supplies 
within  the  peninsula  itself.  This  was  the  more 
plainly  to  be  seen  during  the  years  1701  and  1702, 
when,  in  consequence  of  an  unusual  drought,  and 
the  failure  of  the  arrival  of  the  expected  provis- 
ions, the  mission  was  placed  in  the  most  imminent 
danger.  At  first  the  garrison  had  to  exist  on 
limited  fare,  but  when  all  was  consumed  they 
were  necessitated  to  live  on  the  little  the  country 
afforded — roots,  berries  and  shell-fish.  As  an 
aggravation  of  their  misfortune  an  insurrection 
broke  out  among  the  Indians,  by  which  the  lives 
of  the  Spaniards  were  placed  in  the  most  immi- 
nent danger. 

The  mission  of  Father  Piccolo  to  New  Spain,  of 
which  I  have  spoken  above,  was  not  without  its 
important  advantages.  By  his  frequent  and  earn- 
est representations  he  succeeded  in  obtaining  from 
Government  the  payment  of  the  sum  assigned  by 
his  Majesty  for  the  conquest  of  the  country  and 
also   the   establishment  by   private    donations   of 

264  HISTORY    OF    THE 

four  additional  missions.  The  great  number  of 
missionaries  then  required  for  the  missions  of 
Mexico  and  New  Spain  prevented  him  from  ob- 
taining more  than  two  additional  laborers  for  the 
Californian  coast.  The  arrival  of  the  Father  with 
his  confreres,  on  the  28th  of  October,  changed  the 
entire  aspect  of  affairs,  and  infused  new  life  into 
the  garrison  and  the  Spaniards  in  general.  The 
opportune  presence  of  a  friend  is  never  so  accept- 
able and  calculated  to  elicit  an  exuberance  of  joy 
as  when  life  and  religion  are  made  to  depend  upon 
his  arrival. 

With  their  new  reinforcements  and  the  promises 
made  by  the  members  of  Government,  their  hopes 
were  increased  and  their  fears  almost  entirely 
allayed.  They  accordingly  entered  upon  larger 
and  higher  designs  for  the  conversion  of  the  peo- 
ple. In  a  council  held  on  the  occasion  it  was  de- 
termined that  Father  Ugarte  should  proceed  to 
New  Spain  for  the  purchase  of  cattle  to  be  employ- 
ed in  the  service  of  the  mission  for  journeying  to 
the  different  stations,  as  well  as  for  supplying  the 
necessary  means  of  support.  Meantime  Father 
Tierra,  accompanied  by  some  of  his  men,  made  ex- 
cursions into  the  interior  seeking  new  tribes  and 
localities  suitable  for  the  establishment  of  missions. 
The  greater  part  of  the  country  he  found  to  be  un- 
inhabited, but  in  one  particular  locality  they  came 
upon  a  body  of  the  natives,  who,  no  sooner  ob- 
served them,  than  they  precipitately  fled  from  their 


presence.  In  another  part  of  the  mountains, 
about  a  hundred  miles  from  the  mission,  they  came 
on  another  rancheria,  or  camp,  where  the  people 
in  like  manner  mistaking  their  intention,  regarded 
them  at  first  in  the  character  of  enemies,  and  pre- 
pared to  defend  themselves  against  their  apparent 
hostility;  but,  on  learning  their  real  intention  and 
the  true  nature  of  their  visit,  they  presently  chang- 
ed their  attitude  of  defiance  and  received  them 
with  kindness  and  affection. 

The  reader  will  not  have  forgotten  that  the  sec- 
ond establishment  formed  by  the  Fathers  was  the 
mission  of  St.  Xavier,  in  the  country  of  the  Viggi. 
This  mission,  as  has  been  related,  was  destroyed  by 
the  savages,  but  re-established  under  considerable 
difficulty  by  the  zealous  and  untiring  exertions  of 
the  Rev.  Father  Ugarte.  Its  subsequent  flourish- 
ing state,  however, — the  quiet  and  steady  progress 
made  by  the  Father  in  reclaiming  the  people  and 
the  soil — was  no  sufficient  protection  against  ulti- 
mate dangers.  The  fickleness  and  inconstancy  of 
the  savages  were  ever  a  subject  of  alarm  for  the 
Religious.  No  amount  of  kindness,  benevolence 
and  sacrifice  procured  them  an  immunity  against 
sudden  attacks.  Instigated  by  the  evil  advice  of 
the  leader  of  the  former  rebellion,  a  body  of  the 
Pagans  fell  suddenly  upon  the  mission,  and  massa- 
creed  all  who  happened  to  fall  in  their  way.  To 
look  on  with  indifference  and  allow  such  an  act  of 
wanton  barbarity  to  pass  without  its  merited  pun- 

266  HISTORY    OF   THE 

ishment,  would  be  under  the  circumstances  entire- 
ly impolitic  and  highly  injurious  to  the  interests 
of  religion;  for,  if  the  immediate  result  of  embrac- 
ing the  Christian  religion  was  imminent,  or  prob- 
able danger  of  death,  the  progress  of  truth  was 
certain  to  be  seriously  injured.  It  was  therefore 
resolved  that  an  example  should  be  made  of  the 
rebels,  and  that  they  be  taught  to  understand  that 
their  murderous  deeds  would  not  be  permitted  to 
pass  without  an  adequate  punishment.  Pursuant 
to  this  resolution  the  Pagans  were  surprised  in 
their  camp,  and  some  of  them  made  to  suffer  for 
the  cruel  and  barbarous  massacre  of  the  Chris- 
tians. The  leader  artfully  managed  to  escape  for 
the  moment,  but  was  afterward  taken  and  given 
up  to  the  authorities,  by  whom  he  was  made  to 
suffer  the  penalty  of  death  for  his  crime — a  pun- 
ishment certainly  not  beyond  his  deserts  when  it 
is  remembered  that  he  had  several  times  compassed 
the  death  of  the  Father  and  his  followers;  that  he 
was  the  author  of  the  destruction  of  the  chapel 
and  mission  in  the  first  instance,  and  had  finally 
excited  his  countrymen-  to  fall  upon  and  massacre 
all  the  Christian  communities.  It  is  only  just, 
however,  to  the  memory  of  the  Fathers  to  state 
that  they  had  no  hand  in  his  death ;  they  even 
pleaded  for  his  life,  begging  that  the  sentence 
might  be  changed  into  banishment  from  the  coun- 
try, but  to  this  the  military  commander  was  un- 
willing to  listen — a  course  which  the  circumstances 


seem  to  have  demanded.  The  consequence  of  this 
merited  chastisement  was  the  peace  of  the  mis- 
sions and  the  security  of  the  Christians  for  a  con- 
siderable time. 

During  the  tranquillity  that  succeeded  this  vio- 
lent outburst  on  the  part  of  the  Pagans,  new  and 
favorable  opportunities  were  offered  the  Fathers 
for  extending  the  field  of  their  labors.  The  evil 
dispositions  of  some  was  no  reason  why  the  Reli- 
gious should  slacken  in  their  endeavors  to  gain  the 
country  to  God.  The  truly  zealous  and  apostolic 
missionary  is  not  checked  in  his  career  of  be- 
nevolence by  the  crimes  and  atrocities  of  the 
multitude.  New  missions  had  already  to  be  found- 
ed, the  old  ones  were  not  sufficiently  accessi- 
ble to  all;  religion  had  to  be  presented  to  every 
tribe;  and  in  order  to  this,  the  Fathers  ex- 
amined the  country  in  every  direction,  with  the 
view  of  determining  the  most  eligible  places  for 
the  foundation  of  the  contemplated  missions. 
While  thus  prosecuting  their  pious  intentions,  an 
occurrence  took  place  which,  while  it  afforded 
an  opportunity  for  an  exercise  of  Christian  benev- 
olence, proved  very  embarrassing  to  the  Religious. 

In  order  to  avoid  a  series  of  inconveniences  fore- 
seen by  the  missionaries,  it  had  been  strictly  prohib- 
ited to  all  without  a  license  from  Government  and 
the  sanction  of  the  local  authorities,  to  resort  to  the 
California  coast  for  the  purpose  of  fishing  for 
pearls.  Contrary  to  this  positive  order,  some  bold 

268  HISTORY    OF    THE 

and  adventurous  spirits  were  found  to  embark  in 
the  work ;  and,  in  a  storm  which  happened  at  the 
time,  it  occurred  that  some  of  their  number  were 
wrecked  on  the  coast;  a  circumstance  which,  while 
it  necessitated  the  exercise  of  charity,  so  crippled 
the  Fathers'  resources,  at  best  only  limited,  as  to 
reduce  them  to  a  very  inadequate  quantity.  This 
was  at  the  close  of  1703.  The  following  year 
opened  upon  the  Religious  with  the  gloomiest  and 
most  anxious  forebodings.  Father  Piccolo  did 
what  lay  in  his  power,  by  forwarding  supplies  from 
the  opposite  coast,  but  his  efforts  were  entirely 
inadequate  to  provide  for  such  a  considerable 

Meantime,  another  of  the  Religious,  Father  Bas- 
saldua,  proceeded  to  Mexico,  to  solicit  the  aid  of 
the  Government  authorities,  but  in  this  he  was 
doomed  to  disappointment.  The  year  previous, 
a  memorial  had  been  presented  to  the  Court  of 
Madrid,  setting  forth  the  spiritual  and  temporal 
advantages  to  be  gained  by  the  missions,  and  re- 
questing his  Majesty  to  encourage  the  work.  The 
memorial  was  read  before  the  council  of  ministers, 
and  resulted  most  favorably  for  the  Fathers.  On 
the  twenty-eighth  of  September,  1703,  the  royal 
signature  was  put  to  the  warrant,  of  which  the 
following  is  the  substance.  By  the  first  clause  of 
the  document,  it  was  ordered  that  the  supplies 
hitherto  granted  to  the  missions  of  Sinaloa  and 
Sonora,  on  the  opposite  coast,  be  henceforth  trans- 


f erred  to  the  California  missions.  The  second 
made  provision  for  the  •furnishing  of  the  necessary 
articles  required  for  the  use  of  the  Religious  in  the 
newly-erected  missions.  By  the  third,  the  viceroy 
was  commanded  to  establish  on  the  coast,  as  far 
north  as  was  possible,  a  military  post,  with  the 
view  of  protecting  the  Philippine  vessels,  which, 
as  we  have  stated,  were  the  great  object  of  British 
buccaneer  ambition  in  those  days.  Lastly,  a  ves- 
sel was  ordered  to  be  purchased  for  the  use  of  the 
mission,  and  an  annual  sum  of  seven  thousand  dol- 
lars to  be  paid  out  of  the  treasury  of  Guadalaxara, 
independent  of  the  six  thousand  dollars  already 
assigned  for  that  purpose.  The  other  terms  of 
the  warrant  were  merely  of  a  congratulatory  na- 
ture, and,  as  such,  deserve  no  particular  mention. 
The  authorities  in  Mexico  received  the  instruc- 
tions on  the  eleventh  of  April,  1704,  but  faithful 
to  their  hereditary  policy,  they  were  not  wanting 
in  finding  means  to  evade  them,  though,  on  the 
mere  ground  of  humanity,  independent  of  his 
Majesty's  pleasure,  they  were  bound  to  have 
hastened  to  the  relief  of  their  Californian  brethren. 
On  the  plea  of  being  obliged  to  employ  the  re- 
sources at  the  disposal  of  government  on  works  of 
greater  importance,  the  claims  and  the  cries  of  the 
perishing  settlers  were  entirely  unheeded  by  the 
Mexican  government. 

270  HISTORY    OF   THE 



Critical  Condition  or  the  Fathers  for  want  of  provisions. — 
Arrival  of  Supplies. —  Dedication  of  the  Church  of  Loretto. 
— Father  Tierra  appointed  Visitor  of  the  Missions  of  Sonora 
and  [slnaloa. ungenerous  action  of  the  mexican  govern- 
MENT.— The  Duke  of  Linares.  —  Difficulties  in  establishing 
New  Missions.  —  Father  John  Ugarte's  zeal  for  the  Conver- 
sion of  the  People. —  He  surveys  the  Coast. —  Loss  of  a 
Vessel. —  Prejudice  of  the  Natives  against  the  Fathers. 

The  close  of  the  seventeenth  and  the  commence- 
ment of  the  eighteenth  centuries  were  perilous 
periods  in  the  history  of  Spain.  The  death  of 
v  Charles  II.,  in  1700,  and  his  appointment  of  Philip 
of  Anjou,  grandson  of  Louis  XIV.,  as  sole  heir  to 
the  Spanish  dominions,  involved  the  nation  in  a 
long  and  expensive  war.  England,  Germany  and 
Holland  opposed  the  arrangement,  and  contested 
the  validity  of  Charles'  will,  but  eventually  came 
to  acknowledge  the  claims  of  the  Sovereign.  Dur- 
ing the  entire  period  that  the  struggle  was  con- 
tinued, his  Majesty  stood  in  need  of  all  the  re- 
sources at  the  command  of  the  crown.  It  is  only 
reasonable  to  suppose  that  the  Mexican  govern- 
ment was  anxious  to  render  all  the  assistance  in 
its  power,  by  contributing  as  largely  as  its  re- 
sources would  permit.  Hence  the  neglect  of  Cal- 
ifornian  interests,  though  it  is  also  equally  true 
that  the  jealousy  and  antipathy  of  ministers  had 


something  to  do  in  withholding  the  necessary  aid. 
Be  it,  however,  attributable  to  one  cause  or  the 
other,  neither  of  which  is  a  justification  of  the 
Government's  course,  the  result  was  equally  un- 
happy to  the  well-being  of  the  missions. 

As  an  aggravation  of  the  Christians'  misfortunes, 
at  this  particular  time  the  vessels  which  were 
dispatched  to  the  Mexican  coast  for  a  supply  of 
provisions,  were  obliged  to  return,  on  account  of 
the  boisterous  state  of  the  sea.  The  utter  desti- 
tution to  which  this  unexpected  event  finally  re- 
duced the  entire  garrison,  made  it  a  matter  of 
consideration  with  the  Fathers  whether  they  should 
not  return  the  troops,  and  rely  for  their  own  per- 
sonal subsistence  on  the  protection  of  Him  who 
provides  for  the  wants  and  requirements  of  all. 
As  far  as  the  Religious  themselves  were  concerned, 
having  come  to  the  country  to  labor,  and,  if  neces-. 
sary,  to  die  for  the  savages,  they  were  determined 
under  the  most  unfavorable  circumstances  to  re- 
main with  their  people.  But  such  a  resolution, 
however  laudable  and  praiseworthy,  was  not  to  be 
forced  on  the  members  of  the  garrison,  inasmuch  as 
it  would  deprive  them  of  the  glory  and  merit  of 
dying  in  so  noble  a  cause.  Hence,  it  was  left  op- 
tional with  them  either  to  return  immediately  to 
Mexico,  or  to  take  the  probable  chances  of  perish- 
ing in  the  cause  of  religion,  in  common  with  the 
missionaries.  Accordingly,  in  a  council  held  on 
the    occasion,   Father  Tierra,  after   declaring  his 

272  HISTORY    OF    THE 

determination  to  remain  in  the  country  at  every 
hazard,  addressed  the  military  in  substance  as 
follows  :  He  had  no  need  of  pointing  out  to  them 
the  melancholy  state  of  affairs,  and  the  immi- 
nent danger  in  which  they  were  placed.  To  him, 
however,  they  were  aware  that  no  fault  was  to 
be  attributed,  for  he  had  done  all  in  his  power 
to  avert  the  calamity.  If  the  supplies  assigned  by 
his  Majesty,  and  expected  from  Government,  had 
not  been  obtained,  that  was  not  to  be  imputed  to 
him.  The  question,  then,  they  were  called  upon 
to  determine  was  whether  they  would  abandon 
the  place,  retire  to  the  coast  of  New  Spain,  and 
there  await  a  more  favorable  opportunity  for  re- 
turning to  the  conquest  of  the  country.  The  other 
Religious  having  expressed  themselves  conforma- 
bly to  this,  it  was  then  the  moment  for  the  soldiers 
to  speak,  and,  to  their  honor  and  praise  be  it  said, 
that  they  all  to  a  man  unanimously  declared  that 
they  would  stand  by  the  Fathers,  and  die  for  reli- 
gion, if  necessary,  under  the  shadow  of  the  Cross! 
Noble  and  generous  resolve,  worthy  of  the  chiv- 
alrous sons  of  Catholic  Spain!  the  first  champions 
of  the  religion  of  the  Redeemer  in  this  part  of 
the  world. 

To  supply  their  natural  wants,  or  at  least  to  pro- 
long their  existence  as  far  as  was  possible,  in  the 
hope  that  aid  might  arrive,  they  had  now  to  be- 
take themselves  to  the  country,  in  search  of  the 
little    that  Nature,    in  her  wildest  and  barren  est 


state,  might  be  able  to  afford  them.  A  melancholy 
but  edifying  spectacle  it  was  to  behold  the  ven- 
erable missionary  Fathers,  with  their  converts  and 
soldiers,  roaming  through  the  land  in  search  of 
berries  and  roots  rather  than  abandon,  even  for  a 
time,  the  post  to  which  religion  had  called  them. 
Acts  such  as  these  are  rarely  recorded  of  any,  but 
certainly  never  except  of  the  Catholic  missionary. 
The  heroic  patience,  however,  displaj^ed  by  the 
missionaries  on  this  occasion,  and  their  devoted 
adherence  to  the  cause  of  religion,  was  not  the 
most  remarkable  feature  in  their  character.  In 
the  very  midst  of  their  poverty,  when  nothing  but 
the  strongest  reliance  on  the  providence  of  God 
could  have  influenced  them  to  look  hopefully  to 
the  future,  Father  Tierra,  and  his  venerable  con- 
freres, were  even  then  actually  contemplating  the 
extension  of  their  missionary  labors  in  the  estab- 
lishment of  an  additional  mission. 

About  the  commencement  of  July,  Fathers 
Tierra  and  Ugarte,  accompanied  by  a  soldier  and 
two  Indians,  and  living  as  best  they  could  on  the 
little  sustenance  afforded  them  by  nature,  set  out 
on  a  tour  of  inspection  and  had  the  gratification  of 
finding  a  place  and  a  tribe  in  every  way  according 
to  their  desires.  The  people  were  most  anxious 
that  the  Fathers  should  remain  in  their  country, 
but  as  the  difficulties  under  which  they  were  then 
laboring  would  not  suffer  them  to  commence  the 
erection  of  a  church  and  the  other  necessary  build- 

274  HISTORY   OF   THE 

ings,  they  merely  took  possession  of  the  place  by 
the  baptism  of  a  number  of  children  voluntarily 
offered  by  the  parents.  As  if  to  reward  them  for 
this  extraordinary  charity  and  zeal  in  so  holy  a 
cause,  the  Almighty  sent  to  their  aid  the  neces- 
sary long-expected  supplies.  We  will  not  here 
enter  into  the  feelings  of  the  Religious  and  of  the 
garrison  on  the  arrival  of  the  vessel  with  the  pro- 
visions. Their  patience  and  devotion  were  at 
length  crowned  with  success;  though  not  in  real- 
ity, they  were  in  affection,  martyrs  of  charity  in 
the  noblest  of  causes.  To  the  trials  and  hardships 
of  the  past  succeeded  the  abundance  and  security 
of  the  present.  Roots,  pithahayas  and  berries 
were  no  longer  required  to  support  their  existence. 
The  sad  and  gloomy  forebodings  which  for  so  long 
had  hung  over  their  minds  had  given  way  to  the 
most  favorable  and  joyful  anticipations.  The  en- 
tire situation  was  changed;  the  succor  of  their 
temporal  wants  was  to  be  followed  by  a  feast  of 
spiritual  joy.  At  the  end  of  September,  on  the 
feast  of  the  Nativity  of  the  Blessed  Yirgin  Mother 
of  God,  the  new  church  of  Loretto  was  dedicated 
amidst  the  greatest  rejoicing,  and  to  add  to  the 
solemnity,  several  adults  were  baptized  on  the  oc- 

Father  Tierra,  having  been  appointed  at  this  time 
minister  of  the  missions  of  Sinaloa  and  Sonora, 
was  obliged  to  take  leave  of  his  Californian  friends 
for  a  little.     On  his  arrival  in  Mexico  he  found,  to 


his  regret,  that  he  had  been  appointed  to  the 
position  of  Provincial  by  his  brethren.  Though 
entirely  unwilling  to  accept  so  important  an  office, 
especially  as  it  would  necessitate  his  absence  from 
the  scene  of  his  missionary  labors,  yet  in  obedience 
to  the  voice  of  authority  he  entered  at  once  on  his 
spiritual  charge.  His  separation  from  California 
did  not  prevent  him  from  aiding  the  progress  of 
religion.  Shortly  after  his  arrival  in  Mexico  he 
waited  upon  his  excellency  the  Viceroy,  and 
represented  to  him  the  propriety  of  carrying  out 
the  royal  command  regarding  the  provision  made 
for  the  missions.  As  there  were  then  no  hopes  of 
a  junta  assembling,  the  Father  prepared  a  me- 
morial relating  to  the  royal  instructions  and  had  it 
presented  to  the  Governor.  In  the  document  he 
took  occasion  to  show  the  impossibility  of  sub- 
sisting in  the  country  unless  aided  more  liberally 
by  Government.  At  that  moment  the  missions 
were  only  in  possession  of  one  little  bark,  for  the 
transport  of  the  necessary  supplies,  which  even 
granting  it  were  not  attended  by  danger  at  sea  was 
manifestly  inadequate  for  all  their  requirements. 
He  therefore  was  led  to  expect  that  the  mem- 
bers of  council  would  see  the  propriety  and  neces- 
sity of  making  more  ample  and  securer  provision 
for  future  contingencies.  He  also  took  occasion 
to  bring  under  the  notice  of  the  council  that  up  to 
that  time,  a  period  of  seven  years,  the  entire  Gov- 
ernment aid  received  by  the    Fathers    had    only 

276  HISTORY    OF    THE 

amounted  to  eighteen  thousand  dollars,  or  three 
thousand  six  hundred  pounds,  while  the  private 
donations  and  subscriptions  expended  on  the  six 
missions  then  established,  showed  an  outlay  of  no 
less  than  one  hundred  and  eighty-three  thousand 
dollars.  He  then  continued  to  state  that,  in  con- 
sequence of  the  poverty  and  barrenness  of  the  soil, 
they  would  for  several  years  have  to  depend  in  a 
great  measure  on  a  regular  supply  of  provisions 
from  abroad — a  circumstance  which  necessitated 
for  a  time  a  considerable  outlay.  In  fine,  he  beg- 
ged to  state  for  the  information  of  his  Majesty's 
advisers  that  the  crown  was  then  in  possession  of 
an  extent  of  territory  of  no  less  than  one  hundred 
leagues  in  circumference,  and  in  such  peaceful 
subjection  that  it  might  be  traversed  by  any  one 
without  the  slightest  impediment. 

The  memorial  was  laid  before  the  Assembly  on 
the  27th  of  June,  but  the  only  result  of  its  read- 
ing was,  that  a  report  should  be  sent  to  his  Ma- 
jesty, and  his  pleasure  consulted.  That  it  was 
more  with  the  view  of  evading  the  question,  than 
of  consulting  the  king,  the  council  had  acted,  seems 
clear  from  the  fact  that  the  resolution  of  Govern- 
ment was  not  communicated  to  Spain  for  nearly 
three  quarters  of  a  year  after  that  date.  And 
when,  in  due  course,  the  royal  assent  was  obtained, 
even  then  the  claims  of  the  Father  were  left  in 
abeyance.  After  adducing  the  hereditary  reasons 
for  not  carrying  out  the  royal  instruction — that  is, 


the  exhausted  state  of  the  treasury,  and  the  con- 
sequent inability  of  meeting  any  further  demands 
— the  council  resolved  that,  as  the  memorial  con- 
tained several  points  on  which  his  Majesty's  plea- 
sure was  not  expressly  declared,  it  would  be  well 
to  re-forward  the  document  to  Spain,  and  await  a 
reply.  In  1709,  the  memorial  was  returned  to 
Mexico,  after  receiving  the  royal  assent;  but,  even 
then,  on  the  ground  that  it  was  necessary  to  have 
the  consent  of  the  General  Assembly,  the  payment 
was  further  delayed.  Meantime,  the  Viceroy  con- 
tinued in  office,  but  was  succeeded  the  following 
year  by  the  Duke  of  Linares,  a  nobleman  of  a  very 
virtuous  disposition,  and  strongly  attached  to  the 
interests  of  the  Fathers.  Being  left  for  a  time 
unacquainted  with  the  monarch's  instructions  res- 
pecting the  missions,  the  newly-appointed  Governor 
was  unable,  in  his  capacity  of  Viceroy,  to  hasten 
to  the  relief  of  the  Religious.  From  his  own  pri- 
vate resources,  however,  he  aided  them  as  far  as 
he  could,  and  even  solicited  subscriptions  in  be- 
half of  the  missions  from  several  of  his  personal 
friends.  As  a  further  proof  of  his  affection  and 
zeal  in  behalf  of  religion,  at  the  expiration  of  his 
viceroyalty,  when  preparing  to  return  to  Spain,  he 
willed  the  one  third  of  his  property,  in  case  of  his 
death,  to  the  support  of  the  Californian  church. 

While  matters  were  thus  slowly  proceeding  at 
Mexico,  every  artifice  being  employed  by  the 
agents  of  government  to  counteract  or  evade  the 

278  HISTORY   OF   THE 

royal  commands,  the  Fathers  were  equally  zealous 
in  seeking  to  meet,  by  private  donations,  the  ne- 
cessary wants.  They  were  also  most  zealous  in 
extending,  according  to  their  limited  means,  the 
sphere  of  their  ministry.  During  the  time  that 
Fathers  Piccolo  and  Tierra  were  soliciting  sub- 
scriptions on  the  opposite  coast,  Fathers  Peter  and 
John  Ugarte  were  occupied,  the  one  in  learning 
the  language,  and  the  other  in  clearing  the  ground 
preparatory  to  forming  a  new  mission.  They  had 
also  made  several  journeys  into  the  interior, 
preached  the  Divine  word,  and  induced  several 
tribes  to  form  into  villages,  and  to  accept  the  first 
rudiments  of  the  Christian  religion.  Meantime, 
at  the  missions  of  Loretto  and  St.  Xavier,  the 
usual  exercises  of  religion  were  being  performed, 
and  so  favorably  that,  on  the  return  of  Father 
Tierra,  the  establishment  of  two  additional  mis- 
sions was  taken  into  immediate  consideration. 
But,  as  there  were  then  only  three  priests  in  the 
country,  a  difficulty  was  experienced;  not  such, 
however,  as  to  materially  interfere  with  the  pro- 
ject, for  a  lay-brother,  who  had  just  come  to  the 
mission,  supplied  the  necessity.  This  excellent 
man,  of  whom  we  shall  afterward  speak,  was 
subsequently  raised  to  the  priesthood,  and  accom- 
plished much  for  the  interests  of  religion.  In  ac- 
cordance with  the  Father-provincial's  instructions, 
the  contemplated  missions  were  immediately  be- 
gun, their  organization  having  been  entrusted  to 
Fathers  Peter  Ugarte  and  Manuel  de  Bassaldo. 


The  savages  being  unaccustomed,  in  their  na- 
tive condition,  to  every  convenience  and  social  en- 
joyment, the  establishment  of  missions  among 
them  was  attended  with  the  greatest  discomfort. 
Exposure  to  the  inclemency  of  the  weather,  mea- 
ger and  unwholesome  food,  and  constant,  unre- 
mitting physical  exertions  were,  in  these  cases, 
the  ordinary  lot  of  the  Religious.  Invariably, 
while  engaged  in  laying  the  foundations  of  the  set- 
tlements, their  only  protection  from  the  powerful 
action  of  the  sun  during  the  day,  and  of  the  cold 
at  night,  was  that  afforded  them  by  a  rude  little 
hut;  for,  in  every  case,  they  directed  their  at- 
tentions in  the  first  instance  to  the  formation  of 
a  chapel  for  their  Heavenly  Master.  The  difficul- 
ties that  Father  Ugarte  met  with  from  the  sloth 
and  the  indifference  of  the  natives,  were  greater 
and  more  embarrassing  than  one  would  readily  be- 
lieve. Seeing  that  all  his  endeavors  were  unavail- 
ing to  induce  the  older  members  of  the  tribe  to 
engage  in  the  work,  he  had  recourse  to  the  boys, 
whom  he  allured  by  presents  and  sweetmeats 
to  join  him  in  the  work.  A  holy  and  edifying 
spectacle,  indeed,  it  must  have  been,  for  the  peo- 
ple to  have  witnessed  this  venerable  and  devoted 
Religious  thus  laboring  with  the  young  in  laying 
the  foundation  of  his  contemplated  mission.  And, 
as  children  are  often  incited  to  the  performance  of 
duty  by  motives  of  rivalry,  the  Father  laid  hold 
of  this  means  and  adapted  it  to  his  purpose.     At 

280  HISTORY    OF   THE 

times,  he  would  wager  with  the  little  ones  who 
would  be  first  in  clearing  the  ground,  and  remov- 
ing the  shrubs;  at  others,  he  would  offer  rewards 
for  transporting  the  earth  and  forming  the  bricks; 
while  again,  he  would  gain  their  assistance  by 
making  the  work  a  source  of  amusement  and  pleas- 
ure to  all.  "The  Father  used  to  take  off  his  san- 
dals," says  Father  Venegas,  "  and  tread  npon  the 
clay,  in  which  he  was  followed  by  the  boys,  skip- 
ping and  dancing ;  the  boys  sung,  and  were  highly 
delighted — the  Father  also  sung,  and  thus  they 
continued,  dancing  and  treading  the  clay  in  differ- 
ent parts,  till  meal-time.'7 

Thus  it  was  that  Father  Ugarte  succeeded  in 
constructing  his  little  temporary  church,  thereby 
evincing  a  spirit  of  simplicity  and  of  practical  piety 
in  vain  to  be  sought  but  in  the  life  of  an  apostle. 
No  wonder  that  such  labors  and  exertions  should 
have  been  blessed  with  more  than  an  ordinary 
measure  of  success.  And,  indeed,  such  was  the 
fact,  for  after  a  little  this  zealous  apostle  had  the 
pleasure  of  admitting  to  baptism  several  of  this 
tribe,  thus  happily  reaping  the  first  fruits  of  his 

While  congratulating  himself  on  the  success  of 
his  labors,  an  occurrence  took  place  which  greatly 
endangered  his  life  and  those  of  his  followers. 
Happening  to  be  sent  for  to  administer  the  last 
sacrament  to  a  person  in  danger  of  death,  he  found 
on  his  arrival  a  sorcerer,  or  pagan  religious,  whom 


he  immediately  obliged  to  depart,  rebuking  at  the 
same  time  the  convert  and  her  friends  for  having 
permitted  such  an  act.  The  Christians,  either  mis- 
taking his  meaning  or  desirous  of  giving  a  practical 
proof  of  their  sorrow,  immediately  followed  and 
slew  the  unfortunate  man,  for  which,  when  stern- 
ly rebuked  by  the  Father,  they  turned  their  anger 
on  himself,  and  would  also  have  deprived  him  of 
life  had  they  not  been  deterred  by  his  coolness 
and  intrepidity  of  manner.  Happening  to  learn 
by  accident  that  the  people  were  preparing  to  kill 
him,  he  immediately  sent  for  the  leaders,  and  with 
an  air  of  resolution  and  determination  addressed 
them  somewhat  as  follows:  "I  am  aware  of  your 
wicked  designs.  I  know  you  have  formed  the  res- 
olution of  killing  me  to-night.  With  this  musket 
(pointing  to  an  old  carbine)  I  will  slaughter  you 
all,  if  you  make  the  attempt.  Go  then,  abandon 
your  purpose  and  quickly  repent  for  having  con- 
ceived so  nefarious  a  purpose."  The  address  was 
effective,  it  produced  the  expected  result;  the  In- 
dians were  exceedingly  terrified,  and  so  far  from 
attacking  the  Father,  they  abandoned  the  mission 
that  night  and  refused  to  return  until  assured  by 
the  missionary  that  he  loved  them  as  children. 
From  this,  which  was  only  one  of  a  number  of 
similar  instances,  it  can  be  readily  seen  how  pre- 
carious and  uncertain  were  the  lives  of  the  mis- 
sionaries. Owing  to  the  people's  natural  ferocity, 
their  stupidity  and  fickle  disposition,  neither  zeal, 

282  HISTORY   OF    THE 

patience  or  long-standing  amongst  them  offered 
any  protection  against  sudden  attack.  In  fact  the 
missionaries'  lives  were  ever  at  stake,  and  some- 
times unhappily  forfeited,  as  will  appear  further 

While  Father  Ugarte  was  engaged,  as  we  have 
stated,  in  founding  his  mission  in  the  face  of  the 
greatest  and  most  unusual  difficulties,  both  moral 
and  physical,  Father  Manuel  Bassaldo  was  also 
engaged  in  establishing  his,  but  under  more  favor- 
able and  agreeable  circumstances.  The  great  dif- 
ficulty this  Father  encountered  at  first  was  the 
formation  of  a  road  from  the  garrison  to  the  mis- 
sion, a  distance  of  one  hundred  miles  through  a 
woody,  mountainous  country.  So  rugged,  uneven 
and  hilly  was  the  land  that  it  was  with  the  great- 
est difficulty  the  Father  was  enabled  to  form  a  way 
for  himself  and  his  companions.  But  once  the 
natural  difficulties  surmounted,  his  labors  were 
of  a  more  agreeable  kind  than  those  of  his  brother 
Religious.  The  people  in  this  section  of  the  coun- 
try were  of  a  better  and  more  lively  disposition, 
less  variable  and  fickle  in  their  habits,  and  conse- 
quently better  adapted  for  the  reception  and  pro- 
fession of  truth.  For  four  years,  till  necessitated 
by  sickness  to  leave  for  a  time,  the  Father  remain- 
ed at  this  place,  instructing  the  people,  reclaiming 
them  from  their  savage  existence,  and  teaching 
them  the  knowledge  and  worship  of  God.  He  was 
succeeded  in  his  charge  by  Father  Francis  Piccolo, 


a  man  of  equally  remarkable  virtues,  whose  zeal 
in  behalf  of  the  natives  showed  itself  especially  in 
the  preaching  of  the  word,  and  the  conquest  of 
souls  effected  in  different  parts  of  the  country. 
The  fruits  of  his  labors  were  especially  noticeable 
in  the  great  number  of  communicants  at  the  festi- 
vals of  Easter  and  at  different  times  through  the 
course  of  the  year. 

Although  the  lives  of  the  last  mentioned  mis- 
sionaries present  us  with  many  rare  and  singular 
virtues,  they  do  not  show  forth  so  clearly  and  em- 
phatically the  character  of  the  missionary  as  that 
of  the  Rev.  John  Ugarte,  to  whom  the  venerable 
Father  Tierra  was  wont  to  give  the  name  of  Apos- 
tle. Father  John  Ugarte  was  one  of  those  rare 
and  eminent  men  who  are  ever  foremost  in  every 
noble  and  meritorious  employment.  He  left  the 
impress  of  his  zeal  and  ability  on  every  work  he 
engaged  in;  and  his  success  was  certainly  in  keep- 
ing with  his  energy  and  devotion.  Ever  on  the 
alert  for  an  opportunity  for  advancing  the  interests 
of  religion,  his  thoughtful,  active,  zealous  mind 
never  suffered  him  to  rest  for  a  moment.  Now 
admonishing,  reclaiming,  instructing  the  ignorant ; 
now  administering  the  sacraments  of  the  church, 
or  attending  to  the  temporal  concerns  of  the  mis- 
sion— laboring  in  the  fields,  working  on  the  build- 
ings, repairing  the  roads,  or  preparing  the  vessels 
for  sea — in  each  and  every  capacity,  he  joined  to 
the  sweetness  and  mildness  of  the  saint  the  activity 

284  HISTORY    OF    THE 

and  energy  of  the  missionary.  To  such  an  extent 
did  he  succeed  in  reclaiming  this  naturally  lazy 
and  indolent  people,  and  in  bringing  them  to  ob- 
serve a  system  of  order,  that  they  even  submitted 
at  his  command  to  the  penalties  enjoined,  and  ac- 
cepted the  merited  punishment  due  to  a  violation 
of  the  rules  of  the  mission.  To  the  children,  how- 
ever, it  was  that  he  gave  the  greatest  share  of  atten- 
tion, knowing  that  they  were  more  susceptible  of 
religious  impressions,  and  more  likely  to  influence 
the  coming  generation.  But  his  zeal  and  devotion 
were  not  unfrequently  richly  rewarded,  even  in 
the  pious  and  virtuous  sentiments  of  the  aged,  at 
the  moment  of  death.  As  an  instance,  this  may 
serve  as  an  example:  In  the  hospital  under  his 
care  for  the  spiritual  and  temporal  comfort  of  the 
afflicted,  was  a  native,  whose  death  was  remarkable 
for  virtue.  Repeatedly  would  he  enter  with  his 
confessor  into  the  particulars  of  his  former  con- 
fessions, and  beg  him  to  come  and  assist  him  by 
prayer.  So  genuine  and  heartfelt  was  his  sorrow 
for  his  former  transgressions,  that  he  frequently 
manifested  his  willingness  to  die  in  that  sickness, 
lest  he  should  unhappily  return  to  his  former  ex- 
cessess,  and  thus  peril  his  eternal  salvation.  Thus 
piously  and  holily  inclined,  he  approached  the  end 
of  his  earthly  career,  took  leave  of  his  friends, 
bid  adieu  to  the  Father,  and  with  sentiments  of 
the  liveliest  confidence  in  the  goodness  and  mercy 
of  God,  resigned  himself  into  the    hands    of  his 


Maker.     Another  instance,  of  a  similar  kind,  was 
that  of  a  sorcerer,  who  was  brought  to  a  knowl- 
edge of  God  by  the  kindness  shown  to  his  son  by 
the  Father.    At  first,  he  had  the  strongest  natural 
repugnance  to  learn  the  principles  of  our  holy  re- 
ligion.   His  office,  position,  self-interest  and  asso- 
ciations strongly  opposed  his  design.     Throwing 
open  his  soul,  however,  to  the  influence  of  Divine 
grace,  he  finally  submitted  to  the  yoke  of  religion, 
received  the  holy  sacrament   of  baptism,  and  be- 
came a  model  of  piety,  spending  the  greater  part 
of  his  time  in  the    exercise  of  devotion  till  the 
hour  of  his  death.    Another  still  more  remarkable 
instance  of  the  goodness  and  mercy  of  God  in  en- 
lightening the  blind  and  calling  sinners  to  repent- 
ance, was  witnessed  in  the  case  of  an  enemy  of 
the  cross,  who,  for  a  considerable  time,  had  been 
embittering  the  minds  of  the  gentiles  against  the 
Christian  religion.     From  what  cause  his  repent- 
ance arose  we  are  not  given  to  learn;  but,  with 
tears  in  his  eyes  and  solemn  promises  of  amend- 
ment on  his  lips,  he  voluntarily  presented  himself 
at  the  door  of  the  church,  promising  never  to  re- 
turn  to   his    gentile   companions,    and    earnestly 
begging  to  be  admitted  to  baptism.  Father  Ugarte, 
seeing  the  entire  change  of  his  life,  and  the  truly 
virtuous  disposition  by  which  he   was  animated, 
immediately  admitted  him  to  the  sacrament,  con- 
ferring on  him  the  name   of  the  great  doctor  of 
Milan,  on  whose  festival  he  was  added  to  the  ranks 

286  HISTORY    OF    THE 

of  the  faithful.  That  the  Father  was  not  deceived 
in  his  judgment  regarding  his  truly  virtuous  sen- 
timents appeared  later  on,  from  the  fact  that 
from  then  till  the  moment  of  death,  which  hap- 
pened soon  after,  he  evinced  the  most  evident 
marks  of  being  specially  called  to  the  faith  by 
the  goodness  and  mercy  of  God. 

Father  Ugarte  now  made  arrangements  for  sur- 
veying the  southern  coast.  On  the  26th  of  No- 
vember, 1706,  he  set  out,  accompanied  by  a  small 
number  of  troops  and  some  Indians.  The  difficul- 
ties he  had  to  contend  with  were  not  confined  to 
the  character  of  the  country  or  the  dangers  to  be 
encountered  from  barbarous  tribes,  but  extended  . 
to  the  necessary  means  of  existence — the  only  pro- 
vision for  water  being  wells  dug  by  the  natives  in. 
the  sand,  and  which  were  often  unequal  to  the 
wants  of  the  company.  After  marching  several 
leagues  they  were  from  this  cause  placed  in  the 
most  imminent  danger  of  death.  Unable  to  find 
the  necessary  supply,  they  resolved  upon  retracing 
their  steps  through  the  interior  of  the  country, 
hoping  to  find  in  the  mountains  the  aid  that  was 
denied  them  on  the  coast.  In  this,  however,  their 
hopes  were  but  slight,  for  the  parched  aspect  of 
the  land  and  the  well-known  absence  of  rain,  made 
it  very  precarious  whether  it  would  not  be  their 
misfortune  to  fail  in  discovering  a  rivulet  or  spring 
on  the  way.  Depressed  in  mind  and  body,  they 
traveled  a   considerable  distance  through  the  in- 


terior  of  the  country  without  finding  the  object  of 
their  search.  At  length  they  arrived  at  the  dry 
bed  of  a  river,  which  in  vain  they  examined  in 
both  directions.  Thus  disappointed,  exhausted 
and  dying  of  thirst,  they  resigned  themselves  into 
the  hands  of  the  Lord.  Another  four-and-twenty 
hours  of  like  disappointment,  and  some,  if  not  all, 
would  certainly  have  succumbed  to  their  fate. 
Before  making  a  final  attempt,  on  the  morning  of 
their  greatest  distress,  the  Father  began  by  offer- 
ing the  holy  sacrifice  of  the  Mass  to  beg  the  Al- 
mighty to  hasten  to  their  aid.  The  Mass  was  that 
of  the  Immaculate  Conception.  All  earnestly  joined 
with  the  Father  in  supplicating  the  Deity  to  hasten 
to  their  relief.  The  holy  sacrifice  ended,  the  Litany 
was  commenced,  but  before  being  finished  an 
Indian  came  running  to  the  camp  crying:  "Water, 
water !  "  At  a  short  distance  a  little  well,  sufficient 
to  satisfy  the  wants  of  the  company,  was  found,  and 
what  was  especially  remarkable  was  that  on  the  day 
previous,  while  search  was  being  made  in  every 
direction,  several  had  passed  by  that  place  without 
being  able  to  observe  any  appearance  of  water. 
Whether  it  was  a  miraculous  supply  afforded  them 
by  Providence,  or  a  natural  spring  to  which  they 
were  -propitiously  directed,  I  leave  to  the  judg- 
ment of  the  reader  to  determine,  but  in  either  sup- 
position the  providence  of  G-od  seems  clearly  dis- 

Father  Salva  Tierra,  whose  appointment  as  Pro- 
vincial of  the  Society  in  Mexico,  we  have  spoken 

288  HISTORY   OF   THE 

of  above,  obtained  permission  at  this  time  to  re- 
turn to  the  country.  On  leaving  California  he 
took  with  him  five  of  his  converts  in  order  to  en- 
able them  to  form  a  higher  idea  of  the  splendor 
and  magnificence  of  religion,  so  that  upon  their 
return  they  might  be  able  to  give  an  account  of 
the  same  to  their  brethren  at  home.  Contrary  to 
his  expectations  the  five  natives,  in  consequence 
of  the  change  of  food  and  climate,  fell  sick  upon 
his  hands  and  had  to  be  sent  back  to  the  country. 
During  the  voyage  one  of  them  was  seized  with  a 
mortal  illness,  but  exhibited  the  greatest  humility 
and  resignation  to  the  divine  will  during  his  suf- 
ferings. He  even  most  fervently  prayed  that  the 
Almighty  might  remove  him  from  life  before 
reaching  California,  if  his  services  were  no  longer 
required  upon  earth — a  desire  in  which  he  was 
gratified,  for  before  the  end  of  the  voyage  he  was 
called  by  the  Lord  to  the  reward  of  the  just. 

That  the  people  were  in  many  instances  brought 
to  a  high  sense  of  religion,  and  exhibited  in  their 
lives  many  rare  and  singular  virtues,  we  are  not  to 
be  astonished  considering  the  truly  admirable  and 
apostolic  spirit  with  which  the  missionary  Fathers 
were  animated.  In  their  zeal  for  the  salvation  of 
souls,  they  were  entirely  unmindful  of  self.  The 
case  of  Father  Mayarga  is  an  instance  of  this.  Pros- 
trated by  sickness,  it  was  deemed  necessary  to  re- 
move him  to  the  coast  of  New  Spain ;  but,  on  learn- 
ing the  determination  of  his  brethren,  he  so  earn- 


estly  begged  to  be  permitted  to  die  in  the  country 
that  he  obtained  his  request.  And  as  it  would  seem 
to  reward  his  fidelity  the  Almighty  restored  him  to 
health  and  enabled  him  to  labor  for  several  subse- 
quent years  in  behalf  of  his  flock.  In  the  centre 
of  the  mountains,  some  ninety  or  a  hundred  miles 
from  the  principal  mission,  it  was  that  this  truly 
virtuous  and  zealous  apostle  fixed  his  abode,  and 
established  a  mission  to  the  patriarch  Joseph. 
His  constitution  soon  became  accustomed  to  the 
hardships  of  the  place,  and  his  natural  strength 
was  restored  by  degrees. 

By  patience,  prayer  and  unwearied  exertions  he 
succeeded  in  inducing  the  greater  part  of  the  sav- 
ages of  that  special  locality  to  abandon  their  wan- 
dering life,  and  to  settle  down  at  and  in  the  vicin- 
ity of  his  mission.  His  charity  and  zeal  for  the 
necessities  of  all  showed  themselves  in  different 
ways.  A  seminary  for  the  boys,  another  for  the 
girls,  and  an  hospital  for  the  infirm,  were  among 
the  evidences  of  his  goodness  and  benevolence  of 
mind.  His  spiritual  functions  were  discharged 
with  such  profit  and  advantage  to  his  people  that 
we  are  told  it  was  most  pleasing  and  agreeable  to 
observe  the  devotion  and  religious  deportment  of 
his  little  community.  -  Nor  was  his  mind  entirely 
engaged  with  those  in  his  immediate  locality. 
Around  in  every  direction  were  numerous  tribes 
whose  souls  had  never  been  illumined  by  the  faint- 
est ray  of  gospel  truth.  Salvation  to  them  through 

290  HISTORY    OF    THE 

the  Redeemer  was  an  unmeaning  expression ;  they 
had  never  heard  of  the  Saviour  of  the  world.  No 
wonder  then  that  the  heart  of  that  venerable  man 
should  be  touched  at  their  state  and  filled  with 
compassion  for  their  unhappy  condition.  But  the 
losses  sustained  by  the  mission  at  this  time  put  it 
entirely  out  of  his  power  to  hasten  to  their  aid, 
however  important  and  necessary  he  may  have 
deemed  the  establishment  of  a  mission  amongst 
them.  A  vessel,  the  San  Xavier,  while  proceed- 
ing to  Sonora  for  a  supply  of  provisions  with  a 
sum  of  three  thousand  dollars  in  specie  on  board, 
was  driven  back  by  a  storm,  wrecked  on  the  coast 
and  plundered  by  the  gentiles.  This,  for  the  mo- 
ment, checked  the  progress  of  the  missions,  yet  not 
so  as  to  materially  injure  them,  for  under  every, 
even  the  most  unfavorable,  circumstances,  the  work 
of  the  Lord  was  sure  to  advance. 

On  the  news  of  the  disaster  being  made  known 
at  the  mission,  Father  Tierra  immediately  hasten- 
ed to  the  aid  of  the  sufferers,  whom  he  found  in 
the  greatest  distress,  having  lost  their  entire  stock 
of  provisions  and  being  obliged  to  live  on  the  shell- 
fish and  herbs  found  on  the  coast.  As  the  refitting 
of  the  vessel  occupied  a  considerable  time  the 
Father  in  the  interval  directed  his  attention  to  the 
preaching  of  the  gospel;  and  in  order  the  more 
readily  to  give  the  people  an  idea  of  the  truth  of 
religion,  he  had  portions  of  the  cathechism  trans- 
lated into  the  vernacular,  which,  by  persuasion 


and  kindness,  he  got  them  to  learn.  It  is  also  to 
be  remarked  that  this  people  had  previously  re- 
quested the  Father  to  instruct  and  baptize  them, 
but  the  great  difficulty  of  acquiring  their  language 
had  prevented  this  for  a  time.  The  presence  of 
Father  Tierra  amongst  them  awakened  their  former 
desires,  but  as  he  was  unable  to  remain  in  their 
district,  he  merely  admitted  the  children  to  baptism, 
and  promised  at  the  earliest  opportunity  to  pro- 
vide them  with  missionaries.  It  is  impossible,  on 
reading  the  virtuous  disposition  of  these  gentiles, 
not  to  feel  sorrow  that  more  missionary  priests 
were  not  in  the  country  to  instruct  them  in  the 
principles  of  religion.  Under  the  circumstances  the 
Fathers  did  all  in  their  power  to  meet  the  emer- 
gency. The  Government  being  unwilling  to  come 
forward  with  the  necessary  aid,  and  the  private 
subscriptions  being  barely  sufficient  for  the .  mis- 
sions already  established,  further  missionary  hands 
could  not  be  employed,  thereby  causing  the  great- 
est embarrassment  and  anxiety  to  the  Fathers  in 
the  way  of  accomplishing  their  noble  designs.  To 
add  to  their  difficulties  a  terrible  epidemic  broke 
out  in  the  tribe,  and  extended  its  ravages  on  all 
sides.  The  greater  part  of  the  children  and  several 
of  the  adults  fell  victims  to  the  malady;  nor  was 
this  the  extent  of  their  misfortune,  for,  in  conse- 
quence of  a  great  dearth  of  provisions  and  being 
necessitated  to  live  exclusively  on  maize  and  dried 
meats,  other  distempers  were  generated  among  the 

292  HISTORY    OF    THE 

Europeans  and  resulted  fatally  to  many.  The  pre- 
valence of  these  disorders,  independent  of  their  na- 
tural result,  contained  a  still  greater  danger  to  the 
missions.  They  were  laid  hold  of  by  the  malig- 
nant in  order  to  bring  religion  into  disfavor.  In 
consequence  of  the  great  number  of  deaths,  both 
amongst  the  children  and  adults,  the  sorcerers  suc- 
ceeded in  persuading  the  people  that  the  mission- 
aries were  killing  the  community — the  little  ones 
by  the  waters  of  baptism  and  the  others  by  the 
sacrament  of  unction !  The  credulity  of  the 
multitude  accepted  the  cheat,  and  for  a  time  it 
was  firmly  believed  that  the  priests  were  the  cause 
of  the  mortality. 

Nor  were  the  venerable  missionaries'  trials  con- 
fined to  the  foregoing.  Christian  and  Pagan,  Eu- 
ropean and  Native,  seemed  ready  to  thwart  their 
designs,  and  overreach  their  simplicity.  In  1711, 
one  of  the  Fathers  was  dispatched  to  the  opposite 
coast,  for  the  purpose  of  having  a  vessel  belonging 
to  the  mission  repaired ;  but,  such  was  the  unscru- 
pulousness  and  fraud  of  those  engaged  in  the  work, 
that  after  an  outlay  of  several  thousand  dollars 
the  condition  of  the  vessel  was  but  little  improved. 
The  building  of  another  was,  in  consequence,  im- 
mediately begun;  but  here,  in  like  manner,  the 
simplicity  of  the  Father  was  turned  to  profit; 
and  taken  advantage  of  by  the  unscrupulous  specu- 
lators, for,  after  an  expenditure  of  twenty-two 
thousand  dollars  or  more,  the  vessel  was  found  to 


be  entirely  unfit  for  the  sea,  and  was  actually  lost 
on  its  first  voyage,  on  the  coast  of  Sinaloa. 

Amid  all  these  grave  and  continuous  obstacles, 
difficulties  and  disappointments,  the  missionaries' 
labors  were  in  no  way  abated.  Ever  extending  the 
sphere  of  their  apostleship,  they  made  several  jour- 
neys to  the  interior,  reduced  several  wandering 
tribes,  taught  them  the  principles  of  religion,  and 
induced  them  to  settle  down  in  particular  locali- 
ties, where  they  were  easily  accessible  for  pur- 
poses of  instruction.  Oftentimes,  the  Indians 
themselves  would  repair  to  the  Fathers,  and  beg 
them  to  go  and  live  in  their  country.  This  was 
particularly  so  in  the  case  of  the  Cadigomos,  who, 
on  several  occasions,  repaired  in  great  numbers  to 
the  Religious.  Unable  to  resist  their  pious  im- 
portunities, though  poorly  in  health,  and  fully  em- 
ployed where  he  was,  Father  Ugarte  resolved  to 
visit  their  tribe.  Accordingly,  in  1712,  he  set 
out  for  their  country.  On  coining  among  them, 
they  received  him  with  the  greatest  demonstrations 
of  love  and  affection,  entreating  him  to  settle 
among  them;  and,  as  an  inducement,  promised  to 
bestow  upon  him  their  best  pithahayas  and  feath- 
ers, and  their  children  for  baptism  !  Though  thus 
admirably  disposed,  and  ready  for  the  acceptance 
of  the  gospel,  yet,  in  consequence  of  the  scarcity 
of  priests  and  the  difficulties  of  maintaining  the 
missions,  five  years  were  necessarily  suffered  to 
elapse  before  the  spiritual  wants  of  this  tribe  could 

294  HISTORY    OF    THE 

be  fully  attended.  Meantime,  though  situated  at  a 
distance  of  one  hundred  miles  or  more,  in  a  wild, 
mountainous  portion  of  the  country,  the  Father 
visited  them  occasionally,  while  several,  on  their 
part,  visited  him. 

The  Cochimes,  another  tribe  of  that  part  of  the 
country,  also  begged  the  Father  at  this  time  to 
form  a  mission  among  them.  In  a  visit  which  he 
paid  them  in  the  month  of  November,  of  the  year 
1706,  they  had  received  him  with  even  greater 
demonstrations  of  affection  than  the  Cadigomos ; 
but,  how  inscrutable  are  the  ways  of  Divine  Prov- 
idence !  That  people  was  not  to  be  blessed  with 
a  mission  for  two-and-twenty  years  from  that  date. 

During  the  short  time  of  the  Father's  stay 
in  their  camp,  he  was  only  enabled  to  give  them 
the  faintest  ideas  of  religion;  but,  finding  them 
so  admirably  disposed,  he  administered  the  sac- 
rament of  baptism  to  fifty  of  the  children.  In 
1728,  a  mission  under  the  title  of  St.  Ignatius, 
was  ultimately  established  among  them. 



The  Fathers  invest  the  moneys  belonging  to  the  Mission  in  real 
estate. — flrst  attempt  at  government. routine  at  the  mis- 
SION.— Military  Government. —  Amount  spent  on  the  Missions. — 
Natural  Phenomena. — Floods,  whirlwinds,  etc. — Father  Ugarte 


vessel. —  Establishment  of  the  Mission  of  La  Paz. — Mission 
of  Our  Lady  of  Guadalupe.  —  Famine  and  Epidemic  in  the 
country. —  Devotion  of  the  Missionaries. 

Up  to  the  present,  the  missions  existed  in  great 
measure  on  the  private  subscriptions  and  donations 
of  the  faithful.  The  moneys  assigned  for  their 
foundation  remained  in  the  hands  of  the  benefac- 
tors, the  interest  only  being  applied  for  the  con- 
templated purposes  of  the  donors.  The  failure  of 
Don  Juan  Lopez  Baptista,  founder  of  the  mission 
of  Luigi,  showed  the  danger  of  such  an  arrange- 
ment. It  was,  therefore,  deemed  safer  that  the 
moneys  charitably  donated  should  be  laid  out  in 
the  purchase  of  land,  a  course  which  was  subse- 
quently adopted  and  served  to  promote  the  best 
interests  of  religion.  From  the  rentals,  the  mis- 
sionaries were  supplied  with  sufficient  for  their 
necessary  personal  expenses.  Those  incurred  in 
the  service  of  the  altar  for  the  purposes  of  divine 
worship  were  met  by  the  Government,  in  accord- 
ance with  an  order  from  the  crown. 

At  first,  the  Fathers  provided  for  the  temporal 
wants  of  all  the  people,  provided  they  settled  at  the 

296  HISTORY    OF    THE 

missions,  and    received  catechetical    instructions. 
It  was  thus  the  chief  part  of  the  revenue  was  liber- 
ally applied.     After   a   time,  when   the  numbers 
increased,  it  was  found   difficult  to  continue  this 
rule,  and  then  only  such  as  attended  the  regular 
services  of  religion  were  entitled  to  the  allowance. 
Morning  and  night  they  received   a  measure  of 
atole  or  pinole,  and  at   noon  another  of  pozzoli, 
and  fresh  or  salt  meat,  as  the  supplies  were  on 
hand.     The  children,  aged   and   infirm    of  every 
tribe,  whether  Christian  or  Pagan,  were  carefully 
attended,  and  provided  with  an  abundance  of  food. 
Baize,   serges,  and   panillos  were   imported   from 
Spain,  and  blankets  from  Mexico  for  their  partic- 
ular use.     The  product  of  the  land  was  entirely 
their  own,  the  only  restraint  placed   upon  them 
being  that  of  preventing  them  from  wasting  the 
crops,  which  they  would  have  certainly  done  if  not 
prevented  by  the  Religious. 

As  the  people  had  now  become  tolerably  civil- 
ized, having  almost  entirely  abandoned  their  former 
wandering  life,  some  method  for  establishing 
order  amongst  them  became  necessary.  An  at- 
tempt was  accordingly  made  at  the  principal  mis- 
sion. The  civil  government,  if  we  may  be  per- 
mitted the  expression,  consisted  merely  of  a  few 
simple  regulations,  adapted  to  the  character  and 
condition  of  the  people.  It  was  provided,  in  the 
first  place,  that  the  Father  who  was  the  chief  of 
the  executive  should  be  attended  by  a  soldier,  who 


within  a  certain  limit  assigned  should  enjoy  the 
same  powers  as  the  captain  of  the  garrison.  By 
the  second  proviso,  the  Father  was  empowered  to 
appoint  a  Mayor,  or  Governor,  in  every  tribe, 
whose  duty  it  would  be  to  preserve  order  and  har- 
mony, and  to  see  that  the  commands  of  the  mis- 
sionaries were  duly  observed.  A  churchwarden 
was  appointed  to  the  care  of  every  church.  His 
office  was  to  cause  all  to  be  present  at  the  exer- 
cises of  religion,  and  to  see  that  they  conducted 
themselves  becomingly  in  the  church.  The  cate- 
chist  summoned  the  tribe  daily  to  morning  and 
evening  devotions,  and  reported  to  the  Father  any 
want  of  attendance.  During  the  unavoidable  ab- 
sence"^ the  missionary  while  visiting  the  neigh- 
boring tribes,  the  soldier  was  his  vicegerent,  and 
empowered  to  punish  delinquents  except  for  cap- 
ital crimes,  when  the  case  was  to  be  referred  to  the 
captain  of  the  garrison.  The  punishment  awarded 
to  minor  offences  was  flogging,  imprisonment,  or 
the  stocks. 

The  spiritual  government  was  uniform  through- 
out the  whole  of  the  missions.  It  embraced,  be- 
side the  daily  attendance  at  the  holy  sacrifice  of 
the  mass,  morning  and  night  prayer,  catechetical 
instructions,  the  care  of  the  infirm  and  the  educa- 
tion of  the  young.  The  more  apt  and  better 
disposed  were  brought  up  at  the  principal  mission, 
where  they  were  instructed  in  reading,  writing 
and  music,  a  course  which  fitted  them  for  the  office 

298  HISTORY    OF    THE 

of  wardens,  or  catechists,  in  their  respective  locali- 
ties. The  daily  routine  in  the  villages  where  the 
missionary  resided,  was  as  follows:  In  the  morn- 
ing the  warden  summoned  the  people  to  church; 
when,  after  prayer,  the  Te  Deum  was  sung.  Then 
followed  the  holy  sacrifice  of  the  mass,  the  cate- 
chism in  the  vernacular,  and  not  ^infrequently  a 
prone  or  instruction,  animating  them  to  fervor 
and  perseverance  in  virtue.  This  ended,  the  peo- 
ple retired  to  their  respective  employments — some 
to  the  fields,  some  to  the  workshops,  and  some  to 
the  woods.  At  noon,  they  assembled  for  dinner, 
which,  as  has  been  remarked,  consisted  of  flesh 
meat  and  pozzoli,  to  which,  in  some  instances, 
vegetables  were  added.  After  a  reasonable  recess, 
they  returned  to  their  respective  occupations  in 
which  they  were  engaged  till  the  evening,  when 
they  repaired  to  the  church,  and  recited  the  rosary 
and  litany  of  the  Blessed  Virgin  and  a  hymn  in 
honor  of  the  most  adorable  sacrament.  This  con- 
cluded, they  retired,  each  one  to  his  respective 
dwelling,  for  the  night. 

The  same  order,  to  a  great  extent,  was  observed 
at  the  out-stations,  which  were  placed  under  the 
care  of  a  warden.  Every  morning  the  catechist 
assembled  the  people  in  church,  and  after  the 
usual  prayers  and  catechism,  dismissed  them  to 
their  work.  The  better  to  instruct  the  more  ig- 
norant in  the  principal  mysteries  of  religion,  inas- 
much as  they  had  only  an  occasional  visit  from  the 


missionary,  it  was  required  of  them  to  reside  for 
some  time  at  the  principal  mission,  where  they 
were  maintained  by  the  Father.     After  being  tol- 
erably instructed,   their  attendance  was  only  de- 
manded on   Saturdays  and   Sundays.     On  all  the 
principal  festivals,  as  well  as  during  the  last  week  of 
Lent,  all  the  inhabitants  from  every  quarter  assem- 
bled at  the  principal  mission."    How  touching  and 
edifying,  to  witness  these  poor,  simple-minded  peo- 
ple, who,  but  a  little  before,  were  alike  unconscious 
of  the  God  who  created  them,  as  well  as  the  Saviour 
who  redeemed  them,  now  hastening  with  cheerful 
accord,  from  considerable  distances,  in  order  to  be 
present  at  the   offices  of  religion,  and  to  receive 
instruction  from  the   lips  of  their  pastor.     Every 
Sunday  and  festival  day,  and  oftentimes  during  the 
week,  the  missionaries  preached  to  the  people.    In 
the  administration   of  the  sacraments,  but  espe- 
cially of  the  most  adorable  Eucharist,  the  Fathers 
used  the  most  scrupulous  care,  never  admitting  to 
holy   communion  any  but  those    sufficiently    in- 
structed, and  who  had  given  the  most  satisfactory 
guarantees  of  the   sincerity  of  their  faith  by  the 
purity  and  simplicity  of  their  lives.     Of  this  class 
there  were  several,  who  not  only  fulfilled  the  an- 
nual precept  of  the  Church,  but  who  were  even 
permitted  to  approach  the  table  of  the  Lord  fre- 
quently during  the  year.     The  religious  training 
of  the  children  was  especially  attended  to  by  the 
missionaries;  the  boys  were  under  the  care  of  a 

300  HISTORY    OF    THE 

master,  and  the  girls  under  that  of  a  matron.  On 
Sundays,  besides  the  accustomed  exercises  ap- 
pointed by  religion,  the  people  went  in  procession 
around  the  village,  singing  hymns  and  rejoicing; 
after  which,  they  returned  to  the  church  to  assist 
at  a  sermon. 

The  military  government  of  the  garrison  was  in 
the  hands  of  the  Captain,  subject,  however,  to  the 
authority  of  the  Father — an  arrangement  which 
seems  to  have  given  the  greatest  displeasure,  espe- 
cially as  the  Religious  strictly  prohibited  all  from 
engaging  in  the  pearl  fishery  on  the  coast.  It  was 
not,  indeed,  without  cause,  that  such  a  prohibi- 
tion had  been  made ;  for,  during  the  first  expe- 
ditions under  Alarcon,  Viscaino  and  others,  the 
natives  were  not  unfrequently  disedified  and  scan- 
dalized at  the  conduct  of  the  Spaniards.  And 
entirely  apart  from  this,  there  was  another,  and, 
perhaps,  a  more  necessary  reason  why  such  a  reso- 
lution should  be  enforced  ;  for,  were  the  soldiers 
permitted  to  occupy  themselves  thus,  their  ser- 
vices would  be  lost  to  the  mission,  and  their 
presence,  in  consequence,  unavailing  for  good  to 
the  country.  Repeatedly  did  they  petition  the 
Father  for  permission  to  fish;  but,  in  every  in- 
stance, their  request  was  met  with  an  absolute  re- 
fusal; for  he  was  aware  of  the  consequences  that 
would  necessarily  ensue.  At  times,  however,  they 
managed  to  avoid  the  vigilance  of  the  authorities, 
and  engaged  in  their  illicit  pursuit,  but  only  to  the 


great  scandal  and  detriment  of  the  natives,  whose 
barks  and  service  they  made  use  of  in  their  search 
for  the  pearls.  After  a  time,  the  severity  of  this 
resolution  was  somewhat  relaxed;  and  it  was  per- 
mitted to  those  who  had  the  royal  permission  to 
engage  in  the  fisheries. 

By  the  prudence  and  foresight  of  the  Abbe 
Alberoni,  who  was  then  at  the  head  of  public 
affairs  in  the  old  country,  the  missions  were  saved 
at  this  juncture  from  inevitable  ruin.  A  man  of 
great  wealth,  in  New  Spain,  had  aspired  to  the  of- 
fice of  Governor  of  California;  and,  as  an  induce- 
ment to  Government  to  confer  the  position  upon 
him,  he  offered  to  the  authorities  a  very  consider- 
able bribe.  A  compliance  with  his  desires,  it  is 
hardly  necessary  to  say,  would  have  resulted  most 
unfavorably  to  the  country;  for,  as  generally  hap- 
pens in  such  cases,  when  offices  are  purchased,, 
measures  are  afterwards  taken  for  indemnifying 
the  outlay  b}f  the  oppression  of  the  poor.  Like 
the  great  Ximenes,  Alberoni  had  a  mind  above 
such  miserable  chicanery.  The  eighty  thousand 
dollars  offered  by  the  citizen  for  the  viceroyalty 
of  the  Californias,  only  served  to  direct  his  atten- 
tion to  that  country,  and  caused  him  to  form 
extensive  designs  in  .its  regard,  which,  if  fully 
developed,  would  undoubtedly  have  advanced  the 
material  prosperity  of  the  country  in  general. 
His  object  was,  in  the  first  instance,  to  colonize 
the   North   American    coast,    and  to    extend  the 

302  HISTORY    OF    THE 

Spanish  dominions  into  the  then  unexplored  re- 
gions north  of  the  Gila  and  Colorado.  He  also 
designed,  by  extending  the  trade  of  the  Philip- 
pines, and  making  them  the  centre  of  the  com- 
merce of  the  East,  to  render  the  colonists  inde- 
pendent of  Old  and  New  Spain.  From  the  Philip- 
pines, a  trade  was  to  be  carried  on  with  the  eastern 
and  western  shores  of  America,  while  from  New- 
Spain  the  commerce  would  readily  find  its  way 
into  Europe. 

The  vastness  and  importance  of  this  plan  was 
worthy  of  the  man  by  whom  it  was  projected ; 
and,  if  carried  out,  would,  in  all  probability,  have 
been  attended  with  the  most  important  results  to 
the  nation.  With  the  sanction  of  the  crown,  Albe- 
roni  wrote  to  the  Viceroy  at  Mexico,  recommend- 
ing the  project  to  his  care.  Pursuant  to  his  instruc- 
tions, a  council  was  immediately  held  by  his 
excellency,  in  which  were  discussed  the  best 
means  for  carrying  out  the  royal  intentions.  The 
project,  however,  did  not  meet  with  the  approval 
of  the  members.  It  appeared  either  too  vast,  and 
the  members  of  the  council  were  unwilling  to  as- 
sume the  responsibility  of  so  important  a  scheme, 
or  they  were  indifferent  regarding  the  colonization 
of  the  country  at  all.  The  meeting,  however,  was 
not  without  its  important  results  as  regarded  the 
Fathers.  After  a  careful  examination  of  the  case, 
it  was  resolved  that  the  Californian  missions  should 
be   supplied   with    everything    necessary  for    the 


maintenance  of  a  limited  number  of  troops;  that 
two  vessels  should  be  constructed  and  placed  at 
the  disposal  of  the  Fathers ;  and  that,  if  the  thir- 
teen thousand  dollars  already  granted  by  govern- 
ment were  found  insufficient  for  defraying  the 
general  expenses,  the  deficit  should  be  supplied 
from  the  royal  exchequer. 

From  the  wording  of  the  resolution,  it  appears 
that  the  money  hitherto  raised  by  private  subscrip- 
tion, and  expended  on  the  missions,  amounted  in 
the  gross  to  five  hundred  thousand  dollars.  The 
council  next  took  into  consideration  the  necessity 
of  establishing  a  garrison  for  the  protection  of  the 
Philippine  vessels;  as,  also,  the  importance  of 
making  an  accurate  survey  of  the  coast.  At  the 
request  of  the  Fathers,  it  was  further  determined 
to  maintain  fifty  additional  soldiers  at  the  Cape, 
and  to  provide  for  the  education  of  the  youth  of 
the  country.  But  these  resolutions  not  having 
passed  in  regular  form,  were  afterwards  altered  by 
the  Viceroy,  the  number  of  soldiers  being  reduced 
from  fifty  ^to  five-and-twenty,  while  the  provision 
for  the  education  of  the  children  was  entirely  neg- 

This  illiberal  and  short-sighted  policy  on  the 
part  of  the  authorities,  was  only  in  keeping  with 
their  previous  decrees,  and  highly  injurious  to  the 
interests  of  the  nation.  A  ready  and  generous  aid 
granted  to  the  Fathers  at  this  time,  by  which  they 
would  be  enabled  to  form  garrisons  and  establish- 

304  HISTORY    OF    THE 

ments  on  the  coast  and  in  the  interior,  would 
have  tended  materially  to  have  strengthened  the 
hands  of  the  executive,  and  to  have  preserved  to 
the  country  those  important  dependencies. 

We  will  now  turn  for  a  moment  from  the  labors 
of  the  Fathers  and  the  action  of  Government,  to 
the  consideration  of  some  natural  events.  Upper 
and  Lower  California  have  been  frequently  visited 
by  terrible  storms,  whirlwinds  and  rains.  In  the 
autumn  of  1717,  a  hurricane  of  unusual  violence, 
accompanied  with  thunder,  lightning  and  rain, 
burst  over  the  country  and  extended  its  ravages 
throughout  the  peninsula.  The  missions,  in  sev- 
eral instances,  suffered  severely  from  its  effects. 
Father  Ugarte's  presbytery  and  church  were  lev- 
eled with  the  ground,  his  life  placed  in  the  most 
imminentv  danger,  and  the  crops  belonging  to  the 
mission  completely  destined.  At  Loretto,  the 
violence  of  the  storm  was  such  that  a  boy  was 
taken  up  into  the  air  and  never  heard  of  again. 
Along  the  coast,  the  fragments  of  vessels  and  small 
boats  were  evidence  of  its  terrible  nature.  Though 
frequent  in  their  occurrence,  this  was  the  greatest 
disaster  of  the  kind  experienced  by  the  mission- 
aries during  their  time  in  the  country.  It  is  to 
such  causes,  we  are  assured,  that  is  to  be  attrib- 
uted, in  great  measure,  the  poverty  of  the  soil,  for 
on  such  occasions  the  floods  are  so  strong,  that  the 
greater  part  of  the  upper  surface  of  the  soil  is 
borne  away,  the  rocks  only  remaining. 


The  disastrous  effects  produced  by  the  storm  in 
the  mission  of  Father  Ugarte  were  repeated  at 
Purissima,  where  the  soil  was  very  much  damaged 
by  the  rains.  Shortly  after  this  terrible  visitation, 
Father  Tamaral  proceeded  to  the  village  of  San 
Miguel,  where,  as  if  to  recompense  him  by  a  spirit- 
ual gain  for  the  temporal  losses  sustained  by  the 
missions,  the  Almighty  was  pleased  to  grant  him 
unusual  success.  As  the  first  fruits  of  his  labors, 
Father  Tamaral  baptized  on  that  occasion  two 
entire  tribes  of  the  gentiles,  who  earnestly  sought 
to  become  Christians:  Thence  he  made  his  way 
through  the  mountains  to  the  Indians  of  Cadi- 
gomo,  whence  he  proceeded  to  La  Purissima, 
where,  after  extraordinary  toil  and  continued  ex- 
ertion for  several  years,  he  succeeded  eventually 
in  forming  a  flourishing  mission,  from  which,  as  a 
centre,  he  visited,  at  .regular  intervals,  the  tribes 
in  the  vicinity.  This  venerable  missionary's  labors 
can  best  be  appreciated  from  the  fact,  that  though 
constitutionally  weak  and  suffering  from  frequent 
attacks  of  a  chronic  disease,  he  extended  the 
sphere  of  his  ministry  to  the  considerable  distance 
of  one  hundred  miles,  in  a  wild,  mountainous 
country,  inhabited  by  forty  different  tribes. 

An  accurate  knowledge  of  the  peninsula  being 
important,  for  purposes  both  civil  and  religious, 
Father  Ugarte  now  applied  himself  to  making  a 
careful  survey  of  the  coast.  For  the  accomplish- 
ment of  his  purpose,  a  vessel  of  considerable  pro- 

306  HISTORY    OF    THE 

portions  was  needed;  but,  as  such  was  not  to  be 
had  on  the  coast,  he  had  either  to  have  it  con- 
structed in  New  Spain,  the  Philippines,  or  the  Old 
World,  unless,  indeed,  he  could  find  means  of 
building  it  himself  in  the  country.  The  latter  he 
eventually  determined  on  doing,  though  to  most 
persons  under  the  circumstances  the  construction 
of  a  vessel  would  have  proved  an  insurmountable 
obstacle.  In  the  mind  of  the  Father,  however, 
difficulties  were  only  a  stimulant  to  energy.  In 
September  of  the  year  1719,  accompanied  by 
some  of  his  people,  he  set  out  for  the  interior  in 
search  of  the  necessary  timbers.  After  traveling 
two  hundred  miles  through  a  mountainous  district, 
he  eventually  found  the  object  of  his  search  in  a 
low,  marshy  part  of  the  country.  How  to  trans- 
port it  thence  to  the  mission,  over  hill  and  dale, 
was  the  question  then  to  be  solved.  Considering 
the  great  natural  difficulties  of  the  journey,  all, 
with  the  exception  of  himself,  were  of  opinion  that 
the  work  was  impossible — that  the  timber  could 
not  be  transported  to  the  shore.  As  the  party 
had  only  gone  out  for  the  object  of  inspection, 
they  immediately  returned  to  the  mission,  where 
the  failure  of  the  project  was  made  the  subject  of 
general  jest.  Meantime,  the  Father  did  not  suffer 
himself  to  be  influenced  by  the  incredulity  of  his 
companions.  Having  made  the  necessary  prepara- 
tion for  transporting  the  trees,  he  again  set  out  on 
his  mission,  cleared  a  road  through  the  mountains, 


felled  the  timber,  and  carried  it  by  means  of  oxen 
and  mules  to  the  coast,  where,  within  an  incredibly 
short  period,  he  constructed  a  vessel,  which  for 
beauty,  strength  and  size  was  admitted  by  all  to 
be  superior  to  any  that  had  yet  been  seen  on  the 

Thus  was  built  by  a  Jesuit  Father,  in  the  face 
of  the  greatest  difficulties,  the  first  vessel  that 
was  ever  constructed  on  the  Californian  coast.  She 
received  from  the  Father  the  very  appropriate 
title  of  the  "  Triumph  of  the  Cross;"  and  was  em- 
ployed, in  the  first  instance,  for  the  establishment 
of  a  mission  at  La  Paz,  two  hundred  miles  south  of 

Inasmuch  as  the  whole  of  the  missions,  for 
their  greater  security,  were  connected  by  land, 
with  the  double  object  of  opening  a  readier  com- 
munication, and  of  civilizing  the  intermediary 
tribes,  this  expedition  was  twofold  in  its  char- 
acter— one  part  proceeded  by  land,  and  the  other 
by  sea.  The  land  force  was  entrusted  to  the  care  of 
Father  Guillen  of  the  mission  of  St.  John  the  Bap- 
tist, while  the  other  was  led  by  the  indefatigable 
Father  Ugarte,  in  the  trial  trip  of  his  newly-built 
vessel.  The  mission  itself  was  placed  in  the  hands 
of  Father  Bravo.  The  naval  expedition,  which 
arrived  before  the  land  party,  was  at  first  received 
with  feelings  of  mistrust  by  the  natives;  but,  on 
tbeir  intentions  becoming  known,  the  people  ex- 
pressed their  delight,  especially,  as  it  seemed  to 

308  HISTORY    OF    THE 

them,  that  by  the  presence  of  the  missionaries,  a 
reconciliation  would  likely  be  effected  between 
them  and  their  inveterate  enemies — the  inhabit- 
ants of  the  neighboring  islands. 

The  news  of  the  Father's  arrival  was  soon  spread 
through  the  country,  and  drew  from  the  neigh- 
boring districts  numbers  of  savages,  whose  respect 
and  esteem  Father  Ugarte  was  not  slow  in  attain- 
ing. Thus,  under  the  happiest  and  most  favorable 
auspices,  the  foundations  of  this  additional  mis- 
sion were  laid,  and  the  first  measure  for  the  con- 
version of  this  section  of  the  country  begun. 
Shortly  after,  Father  Ugarte  was  joined  by  the 
land  party,  after  traveling  two[hundred  miles,  with 
incredible  difficulty,  through  a  barren  mountain- 
ous country.  The  inconveniences  undergone  by 
the  Fathers  during  the  formation  of  the  mission, 
need  not  be  referred  to;  they  were  in  keeping 
with  what  has  already  been  noticed  under  similar 
circumstances.  The  huts,  first  formed  of  branches 
of  trees,  gave  place  after  a  little  to  more  com- 
fortable dwellings  and  greater  convenience.  During 
the  six  years  that  Father  Bravo  governed  this 
mission,  he  baptized  over  six  hundred  children 
and  adults;  and,  when  succeeded  in  1728,  left  in 
the  three  villages  eight  hundred  Christians. 

Another  mission,  under  the  title  of  "  Our  Lady 
of  Guadalupe,"  was  founded  shortly  after  that  of 
La  Paz.  While  Father  Ugarte  had  been  occupied 
in  cutting  timber  for  the  vessel  which  now  brought 


him   to  La  Paz,  his  kind  and  amiable  disposition 
so   attracted  the   inhabitants  of  those   parts,   the 
Cochimes,  that  they  frequently  asked  him  to  re- 
turn.    All  that  he  could  then   promise  them  was 
that  if  circumstances  permitted   he    would  revisit 
them  on  some  future  occasion,  or,  at  least,  have  a 
missionary  sent.     The  arrival  of  Father  Everard 
Helen,  in  1719,  enabled  him  to  comply  with  their 
desires.     On  the  twentieth  of  December,    Fathers 
Ugarte  and  Helen  arrived  at  Huasinopi,  the  place 
destined   for  the  formation   of  the   new  mission. 
Thither  the  Indians  of  all  the  neighboring   tribes 
immediately  repaired,   expressing   their   greatest 
delight  that  the  Fathers  had  come  to  settle  amongst 
them.     The  good  dispositions  by  which  they  were 
animated  could  not  be  mistaken.     A  church,   a 
presbytery,  and  huts  for  the  natives  were  imme- 
diately begun  and,  while  in  the  course  of  erection, 
messages  were  brought  from  the  tribes  living  at  a 
distance  begging  the   Father  to  visit  their  camps, 
for  the  sake  of  the  aged  and  infirm,  who  were  un- 
able to  repair  to  the  mission.  In  a  couple  of  weeks, 
the  buildings  were  sufficiently  advanced  so  as  to  be 
habitable,  and  then  was  begun  in  good  earnest  the 
instruction  of  the  gentiles.  By  the  festival  of  Easter 
the  Father  was  enabled  to  celebrate  his  first  solemn 
baptism  of  adults.     The  readiness  manifested  by 
the  people  for  the  sacrament  was  very  remarkable. 
On  being  made  acquainted  by  the  missionary  that 
one  of  the  conditions  requisite  was  that  they  should 

310  HISTORY    OF    THE 

deliver  up  all  the  religious  objects  used  at  their 
festivals,  they  immediately  brought  the  objection- 
able articles,  and  laid  them  at  his  feet.  Their  readi- 
ness in  thus  complying  with  his  desires  may 
be  accounted  for  on  account  of  their  unac- 
quaintance,  as  has  been  stated  at  the  outset,  with 
every  species  of  formal  idolatry.  But,  as  the  leaders 
of  the  people  pretended  to  a  certain  knowledge  of 
spiritual  and  medical  science,  thereby  assuming 
the  double  character  of  priest  and  physician,  and 
in  consequence  exercising  a  great  influence  over 
their  minds,  the  compliance  of  the  converts  with 
the  Father's  injunctions  must  be  regarded  as  a 
great  triumph  of  grace.  After  a  large  quantity  of 
these  articles  had  been  brought  by  the  neighboring 
tribes,  they  were  publicly  burned,  and  the  people 
admitted  to  baptism.  A  like  course  was  followed 
by  all  the  missionaries  of  the  peninsula. 

The  means  used  by  the  Almighty  for  the  con- 
version of  nations  are  not  always  the  best  calcu- 
lated in  the  eyes  of  the  world  for  such  an  end. 
Indirect,  as  well  as  direct  means,  are  not  unfre- 
quently  used  by  the  Lord;  nor  are  the  former  less 
efficacious  than  the  latter.  If  it  be  true  that  He 
chastiseth  those  whom  He  loveth,  it  may  be  per- 
mitted to  interpret  the  calamities  that  fell  on  the 
country  at  this  period  in  a  favorable  light.  In  the 
year  1722,  the  peninsula  was  invaded  by  incredible 
swarms  of  locusts,  which  almost  completely  de- 
stroyed the  chief  means  of  the  natives'   support 


— the  pithahayas  and  other  fruits  of  the  country. 
The  maize  crops  at  the  mission  happily  escaped 
the  ravages  of  the  noxious  insects,  and  thus  the 
Fathers  were  enabled  to  save  from  inevitable  death 
many  who  would  otherwise  have  certainly  perished 
of  want.  As  it  was,  the  distress  was  appalling; 
and  out  of  it  grew  another  calamity  equally  dan- 
gerous to  the  lives  of  the  people.  Seeking  to 
satisfy  the  cravings  of  hunger,  the  Indians  fed  upon 
the  locusts  themselves,  a  resort  which,  as  might 
have  been  anticipated,  resulted  eventually  in  a 
general  epidemic,  in  the  shape  of  most  virulent 
ulcers,  to  which  thousands  fell  victims.  As  soon 
as  the  epidemic  had  ceased,  it  was  followed  by  a 
dysentery,  which  raged  with  still  greater  destruc- 

This  complication  of  evils,  coming  rapidly  one 
upon  another,  afforded  the  Father  an  opportunity 
of  gaining  the  love  and  affection  of  the  people  by 
his  constant  and  devoted  attention  to  their  wants. 
The  epidemic  being  general,  the  missionary  was 
constantly  on  foot  moving  from  place  to  place; 
now  in  the  character  of  priest,  then  in  that  of 
physician,  again  exercising  the  duties  of  nurse, 
and  thus  uniting  in  his  person  the  triple  char- 
acter of  father,  friend  and  physician.  So  con- 
stant and  unremitting  were  his  duties,  and  so  little 
account  did  he  make  of  himself,  that  his  health 
was  at  length  undermined,  and  he  was  obliged  to 
retire  for  a  time  from  the  field  of  his  labors.     As 

312  HISTORY   OF    THE 

soon,  however,  as  he  was  somewhat  restored,  he 
returned  to  his  people,  who  received  him  with  all 
the  marks  of  affection  and  gratitude  which  the 
numerous  lessons  of  Christian  benevolence  they 
had  witnessed  in  his  life  taught  them  to  feel. 

During  the  time  of  the  mortality,  Father  Helen 
attended  in  their  last  moments,  and  prepared  for 
eternity,  two  hundred  and  twenty-eight  of  the 
adult  population.  The  numbers  that  owed  their 
recovery  to  his  kind  and  unremitting  attention, 
we  have  been  unable  to  learn,  but  it  is  not  unrea- 
sonable to  suppose  they  were  many.  The  Father's 
faithful  and  heroic  exercises  of  the  office  of  his 
ministry  so  won  the  love  and  esteem  of  the  savages 
as  to  aid  him  most  powerfully  in  establishing  the 
Christian  religion  amongst  them.  In  three  years 
from  this  date,  he  had  succeeded  in  converting  no 
less  than  thirty-two  tribes,  numbering  over  seven- 
teen hundred  persons  of  all  ages.  The  difficulty 
of  attending  these  Christians  was  greater  than  one 
would  be  inclined  to  suppose,  for  of  the  thirty-two 
tribes,  twenty-two  were  dispersed  through  the 
mountains,  on  account  of  the  great  scarcity  of  wa- 
ter and  fruits.  These  wandering  families  he  event- 
ually succeeded  in  gathering  into  particular  locali- 
ties, where  they  lived  in  great  order  and  harmony. 
In  each  of  the  villages  was  a  chapel  for  daily  devo- 
tions, such  as  has  been  noted  above.  The  barren 
nature  of  the  soil  in  this  section  of  the.  country 
preventing  the  very  extensive  production  of  corn 


Father  Helen  was  necessitated,  in  order  to  provide 
for  the  wants  of  the  people,  to  import  cattle  and 
distribute  them  through  the  villages.  These,  to- 
gether with  the  little  maize  he  was  enabled  to 
raise,  and  the  fruits  they  were  accustomed  to  gath- 
er in  the  woods,  constituted  their  entire  means  of 

After  nine  years  unremitting  attention  to  the 
duties  of  his  calling,  Father  Helen's  constitution 
again  sank  under  his  labors.  The  old  infirmity, 
accompanied  by  another  distemper,  returned  in  all 
its  force.  Zeal,  charity,  benevolence  could  do  no 
more ;  nature  was  exhausted.  He  had  fought  the 
good  fight,  and  now  there  only  remained  that  he 
should  prepare  himself  for  the  reward.  To  live 
and  die  among  his  people — those  poor,  simple 
Indians,  whom  he  had  reclaimed  from  a  rude,  bar- 
barous condition,  was  the  most  earnest  desire  of. 
his  soul.  But  his  superiors,  thinking  that  a  cessa- 
tion from  labor  might  prolong  his  existence,  or- 
dered him  to  repair  to  New  Spain.  Obedient  to 
the  voice  of  authority,  he  immediately  prepared 
for  his  departure,  and,  as  he  turned  his  face  to  the 
shore  and  bid  aclieu  to  his  flock,  great  was  the 
grief  and  abundant  the  tears  of  the  multitude,  re- 
minding one  forcibly  of  the  affection  of  the  Ephe- 
sians  and  Miletians  for  the  great  apostle  of  the 
gentiles,  under  similar  circumstances :  "And  when 
he  had  said  these  things,  kneeling  down  he  prayed 

314  HISTORY   OF   THE 

with  them  all:  and  falling  on  Paul's  neck  they 
kissed  him,  being  very  much  grieved  for  the  word 
which  he  had  said,  that  they  should  see  his  face 
no  more.     And  they  conducted  him  to  the  ship."  1 

(1)     Ads:  ch.  xx.,  v.  36-38. 



Project  to  establish  Garrisons  and  Colonies  along  the  Coast.  —  Ex- 
amination of  the  Coast.  —  Reception  of  the  Fathers'  Party  by 
the  Savages.  —  Danger  at  Sea.  —  Return  Voyage.  —  Terrible 
Storm.  — Advantages  resulting  from  the  Voyage.  —  Establish- 
ment of  Missions.  —  Success  of  the  Fathers.  —  Singular  Encoun- 
ter with  the  Savages.  —  Conversions.  —  Mission  founded  for  the 
Cadigomo  Indians.  —  Success  of  the  Same. 

With  the  view  of  extending  the  civil  and  commer- 
cial relations  of  California,  and  of  protecting  the 
eastern  trade,  it  had  long  been  an  object  of  desire 
to  the  Court  of  Madrid,  to  find  shelter  for  the 
Philippine  vessels  on  this  coast.  It  had  also  been 
proposed,  as  we  have  seen,  to  establish  colonies 
and  garrisons  in  the  country.  The  effectual  ac- 
complishment of  this  having  been  entrusted  to  the 
Fathers,  was  met  with  numerous  obstacles.  It  was 
required,  in  the  first  instance,  before  anything 
could  be  determined,  to  make  an  accurate  survey 
of  the  coast;  but,  as  the  ''Triumph  of  the  Cross," 
built  under  the  direction  of  Father  Ugarte,  was 
then  the  only  vessel  of  any  worth  belonging  to  the 
mission,  the  survey  could  not  be  made  without  un- 
usual risk.  A  careful  examination  by  land,  it  is 
true,  might  bave  answered  the  purpose;  but,  as 
this  had  been  unsuccessfully  attempted  before,  it 
could  not  be  safely  relied  on  again. 

In  order,  however,  to  remove  all  ground  of  com- 
plaint on  the  part  of  the  Government,  and  to  com- 

316  HISTORY    OF    THE 

ply  as  far  as  was  possible  with  the  royal  instruc- 
tions, the  Fathers,  with  the  very  limited  means  at 
their  command,  resolved  to  engage  in  the  work. 
To  ensure  the  greater  success,  they  determined  on 
dispatching  a  naval  and  land  expedition.  Father 
Ugarte,  being  the  oldest  and  most  experienced, 
took  charge  of  the  former,  and  Father  Guillen  of 
the  latter.  From  the  time  of  Yiscaino's  expedi- 
tion, it  was  known  that  a  bay  of  considerable  di- 
mensions, called  La  Magdalena,  existed  in  the  vi- 
cinity of  the  twenty-third  or  twenty-fourth  degree 
of  latitude.  Thither,  according  to  arrangement, 
Father  Guillen  directed  his  course,  accompanied 
by  a  party  of  soldiers  and  Californians.  After 
traveling  continuously  for  five-and-twenty  days, 
subject  to  all  the  inconvenience  resulting  from 
journeying  in  so  inhospitable  a  land,  they  finally 
attained  the  object  of  their  search.  The  great 
sense  of  gratification  experienced  by  the  party  in 
thus  far  accomplishing  their  enterprise,  was  very 
much  lessened  on  learning  of  the  great  scarcity  of 
water,  without  which  the  advantages  of  the  bay  as 
a  place  of  resort  would  be  entirely  unavailing. 
On  inquiring  from  the  natives,  they  learned  that 
the  only  fresh  water  in  the  vicinity  was  that  of  a 
well,  dug  in  the  sand,  and  of  which  the  Indians 
made  use.  They  were,  however,  informed  that 
on  the  neighboring  island,  since  called  Santa  Ro- 
salia, water  was  abundant;  but,  as  they  were 
unable  to  cross  from  the  main  land,  in  order  to  as- 


sure  themselves  of  the  truth  of  the  statement ; 
and,  as  it  would  have  been  unimportant,  even  if 
true,  they  examined  the  country  in  every  direc- 
tion, but  to  no  purpose;  when  they  resolved  to  re- 
turn to  the  mission.  Father  Guillen  endeavored 
to  dissuade  them  from  this,  and  did  all  in  his 
power  to  induce  them  to  make  a  further  examina- 
tion of  the  country,  yet  they  were  unwilling  to 
listen  to  his  words.  Fifteen  days  later  they  ar- 
rived at  Loretto,  after  having  traveled  a  distance 
of  two  hundred  miles. 

Father  Ugarte  had  not  yet  put  to  sea,  for  he 
awaited  the  result  of  the  land  expedition.  By  no 
means  discouraged  at  the  unfavorable  report,  he 
immediately  embarked  in  his  own  little  vessel,  hav- 
ing on  board  six-and-tvventy  hands  all  told;  the 
greater  part  being  Chinese  and  native  Californians. 
After  a  sail  of  some  days,  they  landed  on  that  part 
of  the  coast  inhabited  by  the  Tepoquis  and  Seris, 
who  received  them  in  a  very  unusual  manner. 

The  venerable  Father  Salva  Tierra,  who  had 
formerly  visited  this  people,  and  had  given  them 
some  elementary  notions  of  religion;  recommended 
to  their  care  all  vessels  belonging  to  the  missions, 
which  might  happen  to  call  at  that  place.  They 
were  to  distinguish  them  by  the  symbol  of  our  holy 
religion,  which  they  were  certain  to  carry. 

Before  leaving  the  ship,  and  going  ashore,  Fa- 
ther Ugarte  and  his  companions  observed  on  the 
strand  one  of  the  natives,  who,  after  fixing  a  cross 

318  HISTORY    OF    THE 

in  the  sand,  immediately  retired  out  of  sight. 
What  his  object  could  be  was  entirely  unknown  to 
the  party;  but,  inasmuch  as  it  was  the  emblem  of 
faith,  the  Christians,  who  had  been  ordered  ashore, 
approached  it  with  every  mark  of  respect.  There- 
upon, the  savages,  who  had  been  watching  them 
from  a  distance,  instantly  rushed  from  their  con- 
cealment, being  confirmed  in  their  opinion  of  the 
strangers;  the  more  so,  on  seeing,  as  they  ap- 
proached, the  bowsprit  of  the  bilander  surmounted 
by  the  emblem  of  salvation.  Their  greatest  am- 
bition was,  then,  to  see  who  would  be  first  to  wel- 
come the  Father,  and  congratulate  him  upon  his 
arrival  among  them.  Impatient  of  the  smallest, 
delay,  they  threw  themselves  into  the  sea,  and 
swam  to  the  ship.  On  board,  the  scene  was  touch- 
ing and  edifying  in  the  extreme.  On  recognizing 
Father  Ugarte  as  the  missionary  and  leader  of  the 
party,  they  fell  at  his  feet,  kissed  his  garments  and 
hands,  and  otherwise  evinced  their  esteem  and  re- 
gard for  his  person.  Next  day,  great  numbers  of 
them  brought  an  abundant  supply  of  fresh  water 
from  a  considerable  distance — a  service  of  no  little 
importance  to  the  Christians,  as  their  own  pro- 
vision on  board  was  nearly  exhausted. 

At  the  earnest  request  of  the  people,  Father 
Ugarte  consented  to  visit  their  kinsmen  inhabit- 
ing an  island  at  some  distance  on  the  coast.  Three 
days  sailing  in  continual  danger,  amid  reefs,  shoals, 
crooked  and  narrow  ways,  brought  them  to  a  spa- 


cious  bay,  whence  they  had  a  view  of  the  island 
whither  they  were  bound.  The  natives,  unaware 
of  their  intentions,  and  fearing  their  presence 
amongst  them,  appeared  in  great  numbers  on  the 
shore  with  evidently  hostile  intentions.  Armed 
with  bows  and  arrows,  and  wearing  on  their  heads 
a  species  of  helmet  of  feathers,  they  made  the  coast 
ring  with  their  voices.  Their  object  was  to  in- 
timidate the  party  on  board;  but,  as  soon  as  their 
friends  who  accompanied  the  Father  had  informed 
them  of  the  kindly  intentions  of  the  missionary, 
and  his  desire  for  their  welfare,  having  merely 
come  amongst  them  as  a  teacher  of  religion,  they 
presently  laid  their  arms  aside,  ceased  their  vocif- 
erations, and  received  all  with  affection. 

It  was  then  agreed  upon  by  the  people  to  give 
the  Father  the  best  reception  in  their  power.  A 
levee,  in  which  each  should  be  presented  to  the 
missionary  and  receive  his  benediction,  seemed  to 
them  the  ceremony  best  befitting  the  occasion.  A 
hut  was  accordingly  improvised,  a  short  distance 
from  the  shore.  Thither  the  Father  was  borne, 
though  suffering  intensely  from  an  internal  affec- 
tion, induced  by  over-exertion  and  exposure  to 
damp.  Seated  in  the  little  hut,  to  which  there 
were  two  openings,  one  for  ingress  and  the  other 
for  egress,  the  reception  begun.  It  consisted,  as 
we  have  intimated,  in  each  one  presenting  himself 
before  the  missionary,  bowing  profoundly,  and 
receiving  his  blessing.     The  ceremony  ended,  the 

320  HISTORY    OF    THE 

Father  returned  to  the  vessel,  and  proceeded  on 
his  mission  of  surveying  the  coast.  For  several 
days,  his  sickness  allowed  him  not  a  moment's  re- 
pose, night  and  day  he  suffered  the  most  excru- 
ciating torments.  The  unpleasantness  of  his 
position  was  further  increased  by  a  scarcity  of 
provisions,  and  the  dangers  which  now  threatened 
his  vessel.  The  unusual  tempestuous  state  of  the 
sea  at  that  time,  made  it  very  uncertain  whether 
the  bilander  would  be  able  to  weather  the  storm. 
She  had  already  parted  her  cable,  and  was  rolling 
heavily  in  the  trough  of  the  sea.  A  wave  had 
carried  away  the  bowsprit  and  cross,  a  circum- 
stance which  the  Christians  interpreted  most 
unfavorably  for  themselves ;  for,  with  the  emblem 
of  salvation,  they  imagined  that  the  protection  of 
Heaven  had  gone.  Cheered  and  sustained,  how- 
ever, by  the  encouraging  voice  of  the  Father,  they 
labored,  each  at  his  post,  and  succeeded  event- 
ually in  recasting  the  anchor.  The  danger  then 
passed,  the  storm  abated,  the  waves  subsided.  He 
who  said  to  the  waters  of  Galilee,  "  Peace,  be 
still,"  had  come  to  their  aid,  and  saved  them  from 
death.  The  following  day  the  cross  was  recovered 
and  again  fixed  in  its  place. 

It  being  now  manifest  from  the  evidence  ob- 
tained that  a  harbor  such  as  they  sought  was  not 
to  be  found,  they  resolved  upon  abandoning  the 
inhospitable  shore,  and  returning  to  Loretto.  Ac- 
cordingly,   on  the    second   July,  the  anchor  was 


weighed,  and  the  vessel  on  her  way  back  to  the 
mission.  Three  days  later,  they  arrived  at  the  op- 
posite side  of  the  gulf,  where  an  unexpected  oc- 
currence caused  the  party  the  loss  of  one  of  the 
boats,  and  well  nigh  proved  fatal  to  some  of  the 
crew.  In  consequence  of  the  rapidity  of  the  coast 
current,  the  bilander  was  prevented  from  riding 
with  her  head  to  the  wind.  To  remedy  this,  the 
pilot,  with  some  of  his  companions  proceeded  in  a 
boat  along  the  coast  in  search  of  a  more  suitable 
anchorage.  While  visiting  some  Indians  at  a  dis- 
tance, they  found,  on  returning  to  the  shore,  that 
the  sea  had  risen  with  great  violence,  dashed  the 
boat  on  the  rocks  and  completely  disabled  her. 
So  entire  was  the  ruin,  that  no  hope  of  repairing 
her  for  permanent  use  could  be  entertained  by 
any.  In  their  necessity,  in  order  to  get  back  to 
their  companions,  they  were  obliged  to  have  re- 
course to  invention.  The  boat  having  been  parted, 
the  pieces  were  fastened  with  nails  extracted  from 
the  oars,  the  line  and  painter  supplying  the  place 
of  oakum,  while  a  few  handfuls  of  clay  were  used 
instead  of  tar.  In  this  frail,  unseaworthy  craft, 
the  water  rushing  in  at  every  part,  they  had  to 
take  the  chances  of  reaching  their  comrades.  It 
was  indeed,  a  perilous  adventure;  but  there  was 
no  avoiding  the  danger,  unless  they  were  ready  to 
accept  the  still  more  terrible  alternative  of  perish- 
ing from  want.  Their  danger  seemed  to  increase 
at  every  moment,  for  the  water  was  gaining  rapidly 

322  HISTORY   OF   THE 

upon  them,  so  that,  even  when  in  sight  of  the 
bilander,  they  had  despaired  of  their  lives.  The 
little  craft,  however,  carried  them  through,  and 
brought  them  to  their  companions. 

The  pinnace  meantime  had  been  coasting  on  a 
similar  errand.  Her  crew  in  like  manner  were 
threatened  with  danger,  but  of  a  different  £ind. 
Their  stock  of  provisions  having  been  entirely  ex- 
pended ,they  were  thrown  into  the  greatest  distress, 
from  which  they  were  only  relieved  by  the  kind- 
ness of  the  natives  who  happily  came  to  their  aid. 

On  returning  to  the  ship,  where  the  result  of 
their  search  was  anxiously  awaited,  the  intention 
of  immediately  returning  to  the  mission  was  aban- 
doned, and  a  more  thorough  examination  of  the 
coast  determined  on.  Orders  were  accordingly 
given  for  proceeding  still  further  to  the  north  on 
the  eastern  side.  After  some  days  they  arrived 
at  the  head  of  the  Gulf.  The  color  of  the  water 
as  they  approached  the  junction  of  the  land  show- 
ed them  that  they  were  in  the  vicinity  of  the  Col- 
orado; a  little  further  on  and  they  came  to  its  em- 
brOchure,  which  then,  in  consequence  of  the  late 
storm,  was  pouring  a  great  volume  of  turbid  water 
into  the  sea.  The  frequent  recurrence  of  logs, 
trees  and  huts  borne  down  by  the  current  was  evi- 
dence of  the  havoc  made  on  the  land  by  the  tem- 
pest. When  the  flood  had  subsided  the  men  were 
desirous  of  ascending  the  river  and  examining  the 
country,  but  were  dissuaded  by  the  Father,  whose 


judgment  led  him  to  suppose  that  another  storm 
was  imminent,  by  which,  if  overtaken,  their  lives 
would  be  in  the  most  imminent  peril.  Moreover 
a  further  examination  was  unnecessary,  as  they 
had  now  obtained  all  the  information  they  sought. 
The  danger,  too,  to  be  apprehended  from  the  tides, 
which  in  those  parts  rose  with  frightful  impetuos- 
ity, overflooding  the  country  to  a  considerable  dis- 
tance, was  an  additional  motive  why  they  should 
hasten  their  return.  A  council  was  accordingly 
held,  in  which  it  was  resolved,  that  as  the  vessel 
was  in  danger  from  wind  and  tides,  it  was  more 
prudent  to  return  immediately.  The  decision  was 
received  with  expressions  of  joy,  and  so  on  the 
16th  of  July  the  anchor  was  weighed,  and  the  ves- 
sel on  her  way  to  Loretto. 

Their  return  was  not  as  favorable  as  they  antici- 
pated. As  they  sailed  down  the  coast  they  were 
visited  by  a  violent  storm,  accompanied  with  rain, 
which  threatened  their  imminent  destruction.  The 
violence  of  the  tempest  was  such  that  the  Father, 
fearing  the  loss  of  some  of  his  men,  ordered  the 
mate  and  those  who  were  with  him  to  abandon  the 
pinnace  and  get  aboard  the  bilander.  That  officer, 
however,  was  unwilling  to  abandon  his  craft;  she 
had  brought  him  to  the  head  of  the  Gulf,  and  he 
trusted  she  would  carry  him  home.  Arrived  at 
the  isles  of  Puedes  they  were  in  the  midst  of  their 
danger,  being  constantly  in  the  peril  of  being 
driven  on  the  shoals  and  rocks  by  the  winds  and 

324  HISTORY  -OF    THE 

currents  they  experienced.  The  currents  were 
dangerous,  not  only  on  account  of  their  force  and 
rapidity,  but  especially  because  of  their  irregular 
course,  running,  as  it  is  stated,  in  intersected  gyra- 
tions. Meantime  the  storm,  which  had  increased 
to  a  tempest,  raged  with  terrible  fury.  The  angry 
waters  leaped  and  howled  around  the  devoted 
bark.  Through  the  spars  and  rigging  the  roaring 
of  the  wind  was  a  portent  of  immediate  destruc- 
tion, while  from  stem,  to  stern,  as  each  succeeding 
wave  hurled  its  foaming  water  against  the  vessel's 
side  or  swept  in  fury  over  its  decks,  every  plank 
and  beam  was  shivered,  and  trembled  as  if  ready 
to  start  from  its  place.  Everything,  indeed,  but 
one  looked  ominous  and  foreboding  to  the  crew. 
For  three  successive  nights  around  the  cross  on 
the  bowsprit  might  be  seen  the  fire  of  St.  Elmo, 
which,  under  the  circumstances,  the  faith  of  the 
party  construed  into  a  pledge  of  divine  favor.  The 
name  of  the  vessel,  too,  the  Triumph  of  the  Cross, 
inspired  them  with  additional  confidence,  and 
partially  sustained  them  in  their  more  perilous 
moments.  Their  position  was  yet  a  most  critical 
and  dangerous  one.  Of  the  eight-and-twenty  men 
who  were  on  board  only  five  were  now  capable  of 
duty.  Colds,  scurvy  and  rheumatic  disorders  had 
disabled  the  others.  Father  Ugarte  himself  was 
suffering  from  scurvy.  The  whole  safety  of  the 
crew  then  depended  on  the  five  able-bodied  men. 
For  eight  successive  days  they  battled  with  the 


winds  and  currents,  when  at  last  their  efforts  were 
crowned  with  success,  and  they  cast  anchor  at  one 
of  the  islands.  This  was  the  more  fortunate,  as 
the  storm  increased  at  this  time  to  such  a  terrible 
pitch  that  the  bilancler  would  certainly  have 
foundered  had  she  not  been  sheltered  by  the 

After  a  stay  of  four  days  at  this  place,  during 
which  the  condition  of  the  sick  became  somewhat 
improved,  they  started  on  their  return  on  the  18th 
of  August.  A  favorable  wind  soon  brought  them 
beyond  the  last  of  the  currents  which  run  toward 
the  Californian  coast.  The  unusual  appearance  of 
three  rainbows  over  the  island  which  they  had 
quitted,  was  regarded  by  all  as  a  favorable  omen. 
The  danger  over,  their  hearts  again  grew  light. 
The  expectation  of  quickly  joining  their  friends, 
made  them  forget  past  trials  and  dangers;  nor  was 
any  further  trouble  anticipated  by  any.  But, 
in  this  their  calculations  were  erroneous.  Be- 
fore reaching  their  homes,  one  of  those  storms,  or 
violent  hurricanes,  which  are  the  terror  of  the 
mariner,  burst  suddenly  on  the  vessel.  Hardly 
was  there  time  to  furl  the  sails.  The  storm  was 
accompanied  by  a  darkness  which  completely  ob- 
scured the  light  of  day:  The  rain  fell  in  torrents 
from  the  clouds;  the  sea  swelled  and  broke  fright- 
fully over  the  vessel.  The  thunder  boomed  with 
appalling  force,  while  the  lightning,  which  at  in- 
tervals lit  up  the  momentous  scene,  revealed  the 

326  HISTORY   OF   THE 

ocean  in  its  wildest  and  most  terrible  state.  What 
added  to  the  peril  of  the  moment  was,  that,  amid 
the  lurid  glare  of  the  forked  lightning,  they  could 
see  distinctly  approaching  them,  an  enormous  col- 
umn or  spout  of  water,  which,  unless  stayed  or 
changed  from  its  course,  would  inevitably  carry 
them  to  a  watery  grave.  Amid  this  general  com- 
plication of  evils,  they  had  one  encouraging 
thought  to  sustain  them.  They  were  engaged  in 
the  service  of  religion ;  their  voyage  had  been  un- 
dertaken in  the  interest  of  Heaven;  and,  surely, 
that  Providence,  in  whose  hands  are  the  destinies 
of  all,  would  not  be  unmindful  of  their  danger. 
With  hopeful,  trustful  minds,  they  turn  their  eyes 
to  the  symbol  of  salvation — the  cross  on  the  ves- 
sel's prow.  The  winds  may  blow,  the  sea  may 
swell,  the  thunder  roar  and  the  lightning  flash,  but 
the  cross  is  ever  the  sign  of  safety  and  salvation. 
Mary,  too,  whose  honor  they  are  seeking  to  pro- 
mote, will  not  fail  to  be  an  advocate  in  their  cause. 
Fondly  and  fervently  they  pray  to  the  God  of 
heaven  and  earth  to  come  to  their  aid — to  avert 
the  dreaded  calamity.  Their  prayers  are  heard; 
the  Deity  is  propitious  to  their  cries.  The  course 
of  the  spout  is  changed,  the  winds  are  shifted,  the 
thunder  dies  on  the  deep,  the  darkness  is  dis- 
pelled and  the  danger  is  over  !  With  grateful, 
thankful  minds,  they  pursue  their  course,  and 
safely  arrive  at  Concepcion  Bay,  on  the  Califor- 
nian  coast,  at  the  beginning  of  September,   17 — . 


The  advantages  resulting  from  this  voyage  and 
survey  of  the  coast,  were  chiefly  the  following: 
It  was  proved,  in  the  first  instance,  to  the  satis- 
faction of  all,  what  some,  even  till  then,  regarded 
as  uncertain,  that  California  was  a  peninsula,  and 
that  the  Philippine  vessels  never  sailed  into  the 
gulf  by  a  northern  passage.  In  the  second  place, 
the  examination  was  important,  as  serving  to  give 
a  proper  idea  of  the  coast;  for,  in  the  previously 
formed  maps,  harbors,  bays  and  islands  were  rep- 
resented where  they  did  not  exist.  In  this  sense, 
then,  the  voyage  answered  one  of  the  ends  for 
which  it  was  undertaken.  In  a  religious  point  the 
results  were  alike  important,  for  the  places  where 
missions  might  be  established  with  advantage  on 
the  coast  were  carefully  noted.  But  as  no  bay 
with  the  proper  accommodations  of  water  and  fuel 
was  found,  it  was  clear,  that  to  provide  for  the 
safety  of  the  Philippine  vessels,  it  would  be  neces- 
sary to  establish  a  colony  and  garrison  on  the 
southern  coast,  and  in  order  to  this  the  indefat- 
igable Father  Ugarte,  on  returning  from  the  ex- 
pedition of  which  we  have  spoken,  set  out  for  its 
survey.  Father  Tamaral,  another  of  the  mission- 
•ary  Fathers,  also  surveyed  at  this  time,  in  accord- 
ance with  the  desire  of  .the  Viceroy,  a  large  por- 
tion of  the  western  coast.  An  account  of  these 
surveys  was  transmitted  to  Madrid,  but  whether 
it  safely  arrived  is  unknown.  This,  however,  is 
certain,  that  no  action  was  taken  by  Government 
in  the  matter. 

328  HISTORY    OF    THE 

Besides  the  general  advantages  resulting  from 
these  expeditionary  surveys  of  the  coast,  there 
were  also,  as  we  have  intimated,  the  probable  ad- 
vantages likely  to  result  to  religion.  The  north- 
ern part  of  the  country,  because  of  the  more  fer- 
tile nature  of  the  soil  and  the  larger  supply  of 
fresh  water,  was  manifestly  better  adapted  for  the 
establishment  of  permanent  missions  than  the 
southern  extremity  of  the  peninsula.  The  char- 
acter of  the  northern  inhabitants,  too,  their  capa- 
bilities and  natural  virtues  showed  them  more 
fitted  for  the  reception  of  the  gospel.  From  the 
information  received  it  was  learned  that  while  the 
one  was  of  a  more  peaceful  and  faithful  disposi- 
tion, of  a  purer  morality  and  a  better  and  higher 
development  of  intellect,  the  others,  or  southern 
people,  were  for  the  most  part  implacable,  vindic- 
tive and  treacherous,  the  other  vices  common  to 
their  nature,  such  as  sloth,  fraud  and  lasciviousness, 
assuming  equally  grievous  proportions  amongst 
them.  The  same  motives,  however,  which  under 
different  circumstances  would  have  determined  the 
Fathers  to  have  given  the  preference  to  the  north- 
ern people  in  the  matter  of  missions,  compelled 
them  in  this  case  to  begin  with  the  south.  Until 
the  southern  tribes  were  brought  to  a  knowledge 
of  the  truth  and  reclaimed  from  their  barbarous 
state,  the  missions  already  established  were  in 
danger  of  ruin,  and  free  communication  entirely 
impossible.     On  different  occasions  the  southern 


gentiles  gave  evidence  of  the  spirit  by  which  they 
were  led,  frequently  molesting  their  neighbors, 
and  carrying  their  depredations  so  far  as  to  plun- 
der the  Christians. 

To  proceed,  then,  with  order  and  security,  it 
was  necessary  rather  to  continue  the  establish- 
ment of  missions  to  the  south  than  to  the  north. 
To  this  end  two  additional  establishments  were 
formed  between  Cape  St.  Lucas  and  the  Mission 
Dolores.  The  funds  for  the  establishment  of  these 
missions  were  supplied  by  the  Marquis  of  Villa 
Puente — a  nobleman  whose  name  deserves  the 
most  honorable  mention,  on  account  of  his  large 
and  munificent  donations  in  behalf  of  religion.  The 
first  of  these  missions,  which  was  formed  between 
the  countries  of  the  Uchities  and  the  Guacuros, 
was  entrusted  to  Father  Guillen,  and  dedicated  to 
our  Lady  of  Dolores.  The  labors  this  Father  en- 
dured in  forming  this  mission  exceeded  everything 
undergone  by  his  brethren,  while  the  happy  re- 
sults were  in  keeping  with  his  noble  exertions. 
Not  content  with  preaching  the  gospel  to  those  in 
whose  immediate  vicinity  he  had  fixed  his  abode, 
he  sought  out  all  the  neighboring  tribes  scattered 
in  every  direction,  and  after  converting  them  to 
the  faith,  induced  them  to  settle  in  little  communi- 
ties, to  which  he  gave  the  following  beautiful 
names  :  Conception,  Incarnation,  Trinity,  Redemp- 
tion and  Resurrection.  Three  other  villages  were 
also  among  the  results  of  his  labors.     In  fine,  so 


30  HISTORY    OF    THE 

eminently  successful  were  his  earnest  efforts  in  the 
behalf  of  the  gentiles,  that  by  his  individual  labor 
alone  all  the  inhabitants  of  that  section  of  the 
country,  for  one  hundred  miles,  from  the  Pacific 
to  the  Gulf,  were  brought  to  a  knowledge  of  the 
faith.  Nor  must  it  be  imagined  that  he  only  gave 
them  a  tincture  of  religion,  without  grounding 
them  in  the  principal  duties  thereof;  for,  in  the 
subsequent  rebellion  which  happened  in  the  south, 
the  Christians  belonging  to  these  missions  not  only 
remained  firm  in  their  attachment  to  the  faith, 
but  even  offered  an  asylun\to  the  Fathers  who  had 
been  banished  by  their  own. 

The  other  mission,  of  which  T  have  spoken  as 
having  been  founded  at  this  time,  was  established 
among  the  Coras,  not  far  from  the  Cape.  On  the 
arrival  of  the  party,  they  found  that  the  Indians 
had  withdrawn  from  the  locality,  and  retired  to 
the  north.  Why  they  should  have  clone  so,  was 
entirely  unknown  to  the  Father;  nor  were  his  sus- 
picions diminished,  but  rather  increased,  on  seeing, 
while  walking  one  evening  on  the  shore,  a  number 
of  people  rushing  furiously  toward  him,  shouting 
and  threatening  at  the  same  time.  They  were 
headed  by  a  leader  of  enormous  proportions, 
painted  with  variegated  colors,  and  fantastically 
dressed.  A  hair  cloak  hung  loosely  over  his 
shoulders,  a  girdle  of  antelopes'  feet  encircled  his 
loins,  in  one  hand  he  had  a  fan,  and  in  the  other 
a  quiver  and  bow.    The  wild  and  frightful  appear- 


ance  of  the  men,  their  dreadful  howlings  and  threat- 
ening gestures,  caused  the  Father  to  believe  that 
they  were  certainly  bent  on  his  destruction,  and 
that  his  last  hour  had  inevitably  come.  In  the 
emergency,  he.  found  he  had  only  one  thing  to  do 
— to  offer  the  sacrifice  of  his  life  to  the  Almighty, 
and  to  await  the  result.  Suppressing,  as  much  as 
he  was  able,  his  natural  timidity,  conformably  to 
the  instructions  he  had  received,  he  advanced 
boldly,  without  betraying  his  internal  emotions, 
though  at  the  time,  from  the  very  fantastic  appear- 
ance of  the  leader,  he  was  inclined  to  believe  it 
was  the  Spirit  of  Darkness  who  was  urging  the 
savages  to  attack  him,  as  the  minister  of  Christ. 
On  the  approach  of  the  party,  he  gave  them  to 
learn  that  he  was  highly  affronted  at  their  extra- 
ordinary conduct,  in  seeking  to  frighten  him  by 
numbers  and  gestures;  and  then,  in  order  to  con- 
ciliate their  affections,  he  distributed  amongst 
them  some  trifles  he  happened  to  have  on  his  per- 
son, inviting  them  at  the  same  time  to  accompany 
him  to  the  camp,  where  he  would  be  able  to 
give  them  a  better  proof  of  his  esteem.  The 
firmness  and  resolution,  combined  with  the  pres- 
ents, produced  the  most  favorable  results,  and  the 
people  agreed  to  accompany  him  as  he  desired. 
Arrived  at  the  camp,  he  bestowed  on  them  such 
articles  as  he  had  brought  for  that  purpose,  with 
which  they  were  highly  delighted;  but,  on  depart- 
ing, requested  him,  if  he  would  have  them  return, 

332  HISTORY    OF    THE 

to  get  rid  of  the  dogs  and  other  animals  he  had,  of 
which  they  were  exceedingly  afraid,  never  having 
seen  such  in  their  lives.  On  the  following  day, 
they  returned  in  great  numbers,  bringing  such 
presents  as  their  poverty  permitted,  to  which  a 
suitable  return  was  made  in  pozzoli,  sackcloth  and 

On  the  arrival  of  the  party  that  proceeded  by 
sea,  the  establishment  of  the  mission  was  begun, 
the  ground  was  cleared,  the  position  of  the  build- 
ings determined,  the  foundations  dug,  and  the  clay 
prepared;  as  soon,  however,  as  the  works  began 
to  assume  a  definite  form,  the  Indians  on  a  sudden 
disappeared.  Their  suspicions  were  aroused.  In 
their  minds,  the  labors  of  the  Father  were  to 
be  interpreted  unfavorably  for  them.  The  Coras 
and  Guacuros  were  inveterate  enemies.  The  Father 
had  come  from  the  territory  of  the  latter,  and  had 
even  brought  with  him  some  of  that  nation.  The 
walls  of  the  church,  though  only  of  clay,  were  in- 
tended as  a  fortress.  The  fact  of  entering  into 
friendly  relations  with  them  at  all,  was  none  other 
than  with  the  view  of  securing  their  ruin.  At  a 
favorable  moment,  the  Guacuros  would  come,  at 
the  Father's  monition,  and  destroy  them  as  a  race. 
It  was,  therefore,  incumbent  they  should  abandon 
the  district,  and  consult  for  their  safety,  by  retiring 
to  a  distance. 

The  Father,  on  noticing  their  absence,  immedi- 
ately sought  out  their  retreat;  and,  although  he 


succeeded  in  allaying  the  fears  and  removing  the 
suspicions  of  some,  the  majority  were  unwilling  to 
trust  his  assertion.  And,  in  order  the  better  to 
secure  themselves  against  their  imaginary  enemy, 
the  men  took  the  precaution  of  watching  by  night, 
aided  by  the  blaze  of  great  fires  they  kept  burning 
for  that  purpose.  For  two  days  they  remained 
confirmed  in  their  opinion;  nor  was  it  any  use  to 
attempt  to  dissuade  them  therefrom,  for  as  soon  as 
the  Father  made  his  appearance,  they  invariably 
fled  from  his  presence.  Left  to  themselves,  they 
gradually  returned  to  the  mission,  and  when  con- 
vinced of  their  error,  requested  their  children 
might  be  admitted  to  baptism,  and  a  friendship 
formed  between  them  and  their  hereditary  ene- 
mies, the  Coras.  Thus,  what  at  first  seemed  the 
destruction  of  the  mission,  resulted  eventually  in 
a  work  of  the  highest  importance — the  reconcilia- 
tion of  those  inveterate  enemies,  and  their  prepara- 
tion in  this  manner  for  the  truths  of  religion. 

The  reconciliation  of  the  tribes  was  followed  by 
the  baptism  of  a  large  number  of  children,  which 
was  only  the  beginning  of  greater  success,  for  the 
women  were  constantly  bringing  their  offspring 
and  begging  a  like  favor  of  the  Father.  After  a 
time  the  seat  of  the  mission  was  removed  nearer 
to  La  Paz  in  consequence  of  the  greater  facility  in 
obtaining  provisions,  but  through  accident  the 
change  was  near  proving  its  ruin.  While  the  walls 
of  the  new  building  were  yet  devoid  of  a  roof  there 
occurred  one  of  those  terrible  storms  of  which  we 

334  HISTORY    OF    THE 

have  spoken  above.  The  Father  was  absent  at 
the  time  assisting  the  dying.  The  natives,  in  or- 
der to  save  themselves  from  the  violence  of  the 
hurricane,  took  refuge  in  the  church,  but  unhap- 
pily, the  walls  being  weak,  the  building  was*over- 
turned  and  resulted  in  the  death  of  some  of  the 
people,  the  mutilation  of  others,  and  a  most  ter- 
rible fear  to  the  remainder.  The  general  impres- 
sion created  in  the  minds  of  the  friends  was  of  the 
most  unfavorable  kind.  The  Father,  they  be- 
lieved, was  the  cause  of  the  calamitv ;  it  had  been 
premeditated  by  him,  nor  could  they  be  persuaded 
to  the  contrary  till  they  learned  from  the  people 
themselves  that  they  had  retired  there  unasked. 

It  has  been  stated  above  that  on  the  occasion 
of  Father  Piccolo's  visit  to  the  Cadigomos,  that 
people  requested  a  mission  to  be  established 
among  them,  but  that  circumstances  at  the  time 
prevented  the  Father  from  complying  with  their 
request.  An  occasional  visit  from  the  neighbor- 
ing mission  for  the  next  two-and-twenty  years  was 
all  that  could  be  done  for  this  tribe  in  order  to 
preserve  their  holy  desires.  The  time  had  at  last 
arrived  when  their  wants  could  be  supplied.  In 
1727  there  arrived  in  California  Father  John  Bap- 
tista  Laymundo,  a  Mexican  Jesuit,  who  not  only 
offered  to  take  upon  himself  the  care  of  that  peo- 
ple, but  even  put  his.  fortune  at  the  disposal  of  his 
superior  for  a  like  end.  In  January  of  the  follow- 
ing year  he  set  out  from  Loretto  for  the  scene  of 
his  labors,  and  on  the  20th  of  the  month  arrived 


at  the  place.     The  first  impressions  created  in  his 
mind  were  most  favorable.     The  people  expressed 
their  satisfaction  at  his  coming  amongst  them,  by 
crowding  around  [him  and  offering  to  perform  for 
him  the  little  services  he  needed.    When  his  pres- 
ence  became  known   through  the   country   hun- 
dreds of  the  inhabitants  hastened  to  pay  their  re- 
spects.    On  the  other  hand  the  difficulties  he  had 
to  encounter  were  not  so  embarrassing  as  in  ordi- 
nary cases,  for,  in  consequence  of  the  occasional 
visits  previously  made  to  that  people,  they  were 
found  to  be  partly  instructed  in  the  principal  doc- 
trine of  faith.     Moreover,  the  assiduity  with  which 
they  applied  themselves  to  the  essentials  of  relig- 
ion enabled  him  within  a  little  to  confer  baptism 
on  several.     How  many  he  admitt^  to  the  sacra- 
ment is  not  known,  but  it  would  appear  that  the 
number   was  large,   inasmuch  as  from  the   com- 
mencement of  the  mission  he  had  five   hundred 
catechumens    under   instruction.      The    Father's 
spiritual  functions  were  so  numerous  that  he  had  no 
time  to  devote  to  the  temporal  concerns  of  the  mis- 
sion, but  in  this  his  place  was  supplied  by  the  sol- 
diers and  Indians  who  speedily  erected  the  neces- 
sary buildings.     The  successes  he  met  with  from 
the  outset  so  encouraged  and  animated  him  in  the 
discharge  of  his  duty  that,  like  others  of  his  breth- 
ren,  he  extended  his  labors  to  the  neighboring 
tribes,    reclaimed    them   from   a   wandering   life, 
opened  their  minds  to  religion  and   science,  and 
finally  established  them  in  Christian  communities. 

336  HISTORY    OF    THE 


Difficulty  in  Conveeting  the  Religious  Teachers.  —  Insurrection 
and  Massacre  of  Christians.  —  Retaliation.  —  Capture  of  In- 
surgents.—  Death  of  Fathers  Piccolo  and  Ugarte.  —  Establish- 
ment of  Missions.  —  Fathers  Echiveria  and  Sigismund  Taraval. 

—  Insurrection.  —  Massacre  of  Fathers  Caranco  and  Tamaral. 

—  Great  danger  to  the  Missions.  —  All  the  Fathers  retire  to 
Loretto.  —  Government  refuses  to  come  to  their  aid.  —  Sup- 
pression of  the  Rebellion.  —  A  Philippine  vessel  arrives  at  St. 
Lucas.  —  Thirteen  of  the  crew  Massacred. 

From  what  has  been  said  in  the  closing  part  of  the 
preceding  chapter,  it  must  not  be  inferred  that 
Father  Laymundo's  labors  were  uniformly  success- 
ful in  bringing  the  savages  to  a  knowledge  of  the 
Christian  religion.  Though  in  most  instances  his 
teaching  met  with  a  ready  response  at  the  hands 
of  the  people,  there  were  those  who  remained 
steadfast  in  error  and  persistently  disregarded  his 
ministry.  Of  these  the  sorcerers  and  aged  were 
especially  remarkable;  nor,  indeed,  are  we  to  be 
astonished  at  this,  for  while  their  conversion  from 
error  to  the  religion  of  Christ  put  an  end  in  the 
one  instance  to  their  sources  of  profit  and  power, 
and  in  the  other  to  the  indulgence  of  their  unna- 
tural lusts  and  desires,  to  which,  from  their  child- 
hood, they  were  habitually  given;  it  further  placed 
on  their  liberty  a  most  painful  restraint  by  requir- 
ing their  regular  attendance  at  the  obligatory  du- 


ties  of  the  mission.  Neither  was  it  without  a  strug- 
gle with  themselves  that  those    who  before  had 
been  in  the  capacity  of  teachers  could  now  be  in- 
duced to  take  the  rank  of  disciples  and  receive  in- 
struction at  the  hands  of  a  stranger.     A  few  years, 
however,  of  constant,  patient  attention  on  the  part 
of  the  Father,  aided  by  divine  grace,  brought  even 
these  to  a  knowledge  of  God,  and  then  the  venera- 
ble missionary  had  the  consolation  of  seeing  his 
labors  crowned  with  success  upon  all  sides.  What 
aided  him  materially  in  the  correction  of  vice  and 
the   reform  of  manners,  was  the  communication 
maintained  between  him  and  the  more  virtuous,  by 
whom  he  was  kept  constantly  informed  of  the  ir- 
regularities which  happened  to  occur.     The  con- 
struction of  roads  from  the  principal  mission  to  the 
different  stations   by  which  easy  access  was  ob- 
tained to  the  whole  of  the  people,  was  also  an  ad- 
ditional means  whereby  religion  was  greatly  sub- 
served.     But    even   with   all   his   successes  and 
spiritual  conquests,  Father    Laymundo    was    not 
without  his  reverses. 

Instigated,  no  doubt,  by  the  malice  of  the  enemy 
of  mankind  at  the  great  progress  of  religion, 
and  the  nourishing  state  of  the  missions  in  general, 
a  body  ol  the  gentiles,  living  at  a  distance,  made 
an  incursion  against  some  of  the  Christians,  fell 
upon  a  village,  killed  three  of  the  faithful,  and 
would  have  butchered  the  others  had  they  not  fled 
for    protection    to    the   principal  mission.      The 


neighboring  Christians  immediately  took  up   the 
cause    of    their   brethren,  and   were    proceeding 
against  the  marauders  till  prevented  by  the  Father, 
who  falsely  supposed  that  forbearance  would  effect 
what  arms  might  fail  to  accomplish.     In  this  he 
was  greatly  deceived,  for  according  to  their  bar- 
barous notions  kindness  proceedeth  from    weak- 
ness, and  forbearance  from  cowardice.     They  were 
accordingly  only  encouraged  in   their  iniquitous 
course,  plundering  and  pillaging  before  them,  and 
carrying  their  insolence  so  far  as  to  threaten  the 
principal  mission.     It  being  then  clearly  apparent 
to  all,  that  forbearance  and  moral  persuasion  were 
entirely   inadequate   to    repel    the  invaders,    the 
Christians  of  the  different  villages  assembled  and 
armed  in  order  to  punish  the  guilty.     Their  arms 
consisted  of  bows  and  arrows,  and  spears,  to  which 
knives  were  attached  with  the  view  of  rendering; 
them  still  more  effective.     Even  the  very  women 
engaged  in  the  movement,  and  lent  a  hand  to  make 
the  expedition  a  success.     Every  preparation  be- 
ing made,  the  warriors  were  reviewed,  when  it  was 
found  that  their  numbers  were  seven  hundred   or 
more,  but  the  commissariat  not  being  sufficient  for 
so  many,  they  were  reduced  to  one  half.  They  were 
formed  into  two  companies,  commanded  each  res- 
pectively by  a  captain  appointed,  one  by  the  Father, 
and  one  by  the  natives.  Thus  equipped,  they  set  out 
in  quest  of  the  enemy  and  soon  discovered  his  posi- 


tion,  but  in  order  to  guard  against  a  reverse  it  was 
resolved  to  await  the  cover  of  night  before  making 
the  attack.  The  tactics  answered  remarkably  well, 
for  the  enemy,  finding  himself  surrounded  by  the 
Christians,  surrendered  at  pleasure  without  strik- 
ing a  blow.  Two  of  the  number,  however,  favor- 
ed by  the  darkness  of  the  night,  found  means  to 
escape,  and  with  some  others  of  their  companions, 
who  happened  to  be  detached  from  the  main  body, 
precipitately  fled  from  the  locality  and  returned  to 
their  homes. 

The  Christians  now  returned  in  triumph  to  the 
mission  with  their  captives,  and  repaired  in  the 
first  instance  to  the  church,  where  solemn  thanks- 
giving was  offered  to  God  for  the  victory  they  had 
obtained  over  their  enemies.  The  following  day, 
the  prisoners  were  made  to  appear,  and  on  being 
convicted  of  rebellion,  robbery,  and  murder,  were 
sentenced  to  be  removed  to  Loretto,  there  to  un- 
dergo the  penalty  of  capital  offences.  The  result 
of  the  trial  was  received  by  the  Christians  with 
general  joy,  for  now  they  imagined  an  opportunity 
was  offered  them  of  revenging  themselves  on  their 
inveterate  enemies.  In  this  they  were  mistaken; 
for,  at  the  earnest  request  of  the  Father,  the  sen- 
tence of  death  was  commuted  to  a  certain  number 
of  lashes;  and  even  this  was  further  reduced,  the 
principal  murderer  or  ringleader  only  being  made 
to  suffer  the  penalty.  The  effect  of  this  unusual 
lenity  was  not  without  its  beneficial  results  on  the 

340  HISTORY   OF    THE 

minds  of  the  Christians  and  Pagans.  In  it  the 
former  received  a  lesson  of  moderation,  and  the 
latter  an  idea  of  the  mildness  and  lenity  of  a  sys- 
tem which,  while  in  its  power  to  punish,  was  con- 
tent with  so  little. 

On  being  restored  to  their  liberty,  the  savages, 
touched  by  the  kindness  of  the  Fathers,  and  edified 
at  what  they  had  seen  at  the  mission,  begged  to 
be  received  among  the  number  of  the  faithful.  In 
order  to  test  their  sincerity,  it  was  deemed  more 
advisable  not  to  readily  accede  to  their  request;  the 
matter  was  accordingly  deferred  for  a  time.  That 
they  were,  however,  sincere  in  their  desires  was  af- 
terwards seen,  for  after  a  little  they  returned  to  the 
mission  and  begged  as  a  favor  that  their  children,  at 
least,  might  be  admitted  to  baptism.  To  this  the 
Fathers  complied,  and  after  some  time  admitted 
the  adults  themselves,  who,  together  with  their 
families  and  friends,  had  come  to  the  mission  for 
that  purpose. 

The  time  had  now  come  when  the  missions  were 
to  be  deprived  of  some  of  their  ablest  and  most 
devoted  supporters.  Father  Francis  Piccolo  and 
Father  John  Ugarte  were  of  this  number.  The 
former,  after  a  life  of  remarkable  fidelity  and  suc- 
cess, ended  his  life  in  the  garrison  of  Loretto,  at 
the  venerable  age  of  seventy-three,  two-and-thirty 
of  which  he  spent  as  missionary  in' reclaiming  the 
California  aborigines.  The  latter  closed  his  career 
at  the  age  of  seventy,  at  the   little  village   of  St. 


Paul,  after  having  spent  thirty  years  of  his  life  in 
the  country.  The  remarkable  works  effected  by 
these  venerable  men  should  never  be  forgotten; 
they  were,  indeed,  apostles  in  the  true  sense  of 
the  word.  To  their  exertions,  in  a  great  measure, 
must  be  attributed  the  establishment  and  progress 
of  religion  in  the  country.  Not  only  the  numbers 
they  brought  into  the  church,  which  were  great, 
but  the  heroic  endeavors  they  made  to  provide 
for  their  temporal  wants,  rank  them  amongst 
the  most  remarkable  missionaries  of  the  Catholic 
Church,  and  the  greatest  benefactors  of  mankind. 

In  1729,  the  year  in  which  Father  Piccolo  died, 
Father  Echiveria,  formerly  agent  for  the  missions 
at  Mexico,  was  appointed  visitor  of  California. 
From  a  letter  of  his  to  a  friend,  dated  February 
10th,  1730,  we  get  a  glimpse  of  the  character  of 
the  converts  made  by  the  missionaries: 

"  I  set  out  to  visit  the  missions,  beginning  with 
with  St.  Xavier,  and  continuing  to  St.  Ignatius,  of 
the  north,  which  is  the  last  and  most  distant  from 
here,  about  eighty  leagues.  The  whole  took  me 
forty-eight  days,  the  cold  being  severer  here  than 
in  Guapungo  in  January.  But  I  was  well  rewarded 
for  all  these  fatigues,  were  it  only  in  seeing  the 
fervor  of  these  new  Christian  establishments;  and  the 
least  I  could  do  was  to  shed  tears  of  joy  at  so  fre- 
quently hearing  God  praised  by  the  mouths  01 
poor  creatures  who  very  lately  did  not  as  much  as 
know  that  there  was  any  such  Being." 

342  HISTORY    OF   THE 

After  visiting  the  different  Christian  settlements, 
Father  Echiveria  determined  upon  establishing 
two  additional  missions,,  one  of  which  was  en- 
trusted to  the  care  of  the  Rev.  Father  Taraval. 
The  reader  will  appreciate  the  labors  of  this  mis- 
sionary, on  learning  that  in  the  space  of  a  single 
year  he  reclaimed  from  their  savage  state,  and 
brought  to  a  knowledge  of  religion,  no  less  than 
one  thousand  and  thirty-six  of  the  inhabitants. 
The  importance  of  tjiis  conquest  can  only  be  prop- 
erly estimated  by  remembering  the  character  of 
the  people,  and  their  utter  disinclination  to  lead  a 
virtuous  and  orderly  life.  The  constant  and  nu- 
merous restraints  laid  on  their  passions  by  the 
principles  of  religion,  to  which  they  eventually 
submitted,  was  an  evidence  of  the  triumph  of 
divine  grace,  and  the  success  of  the  missionaries' 

According  to  the  intentions  of  Father  Echiveria, 
the  other  mission  was  established  for  the  Coras, 
and  to  this  Father  Sigismund  Taraval  was  ap- 
pointed as  pastor.  This  excellent  missionary  was 
a  man  of  more  than  ordinary  ability  and  virtue. 
His  father,  who  was  a  Milanese,  served  with  dis- 
tinction in  the  army,  in  which  he  held  the  rank  of 
Lieutenant-Gen eral.  Young  Taraval  entered  the 
novitiate  at  Madrid,  and,  after  going  through  a 
part  of  his  studies  at  Alcala,  was  sent  to  complete 
them  at  Mexico.  There  his  virtues,  ability  and 
earnest  desire  to  consecrate  himself  to  the  service 


of  the  gentile's,  pointed  him  out  as  a  suitable  per- 
son for  the  arduous  mission  of  California. 

While  awaiting  instructions  to  proceed  to  the 
immediate  scene  of  his  labors,  lie  visited  some  of 
the  neighboring  islands,  where  he  found  a  few 
scattered  inhabitants,  whom  he  persuaded  to  ac- 
company him  to  the  mainland  in  order  to  be  in- 
structed in  the  Christian  religion.  All,  with  the 
exception  of  a  sorcerer,  readily  complied  with  his 
request,  and  even  he,  on  learning  that  he  was  to 
be  entirely  abandoned,  changed  his  ideas  and  ac- 
companied the  people.  All  things  being  in  readi- 
ness, the  missionary  now  proceeded  to  his  mission 
in  the  vicinity  of  Palmas  Bay.  The  visits  previ- 
ously made  to  that  people  by  Fathers  Napoli,  Ca- 
ranco  and  Tamaral,  had  partly  prepared  them  for 
the  work  of  conversion,  and  to  this,  in  a  great 
measure,  must  be  attributed  the  success  that  at- 
tended the  Father's  exertions  from  the  beginning. 
Though  in  every  instance  his  preaching  was  not 
followed  by  any  practical  result,  for  there  were 
those  who,  on  account  of  their  irregular  lives,  re- 
fused to  listen  to  his  words,  yet,  such  were  the 
general  fruits  of  his  labor,  that  by  the  end  of  the 
year  he  had  instructed  and  baptized  the  greater 
part  of  the  people  in  his  district,  and  to  the  fidel- 
ity and  affection  of  these  he  was  afterward  indebted 
for  his  life  during  the  general  rebellion  which 
subsequently  happened. 

Up  to  the  year  1731,  when  the  last  mentioned 
mission  was  established,  the  labors  of  the  Fathers 

344  HISTORY    OF    THE 

had  been  attended  in  almost  every  instance  with 
remarkable  success.  The  missions  established  and 
the  conversions  effected  were  evidence  of  this. 
Another  twenty  or  thirty  years  of  like  success,, 
and  the  entire  country  would  be  brought  to  a 
knowledge  of  God.  But  from  the  successes  of  the 
past  we  are  not  to  judge  of  the  future.  A  new 
and  unexpected  embarrassment  was  now  thrown 
in  their  way,  and  all  but  resulted  in  the  ruin  and 
destruction  of  their  hitherto  well-earned  conquests. 

The  greatest  difficulties  the  missionaries  found 
from  the  beginning  in  reclaiming  the  savages  was 
that  of  inducing  them  to  observe  the  principles  of 
the  natural  law  by  placing  a  proper  restraint  on 
their  irregular  lusts  and  desires.  The  debauchery 
and  brutal  excesses  in  which  they  had  previously 
lived,  without  the  smallest  remorse,  rendered  the 
morality  and  obligations  of  the  Christian  religion 
most  irksome  and  disagreeable  in  their  eyes.  To 
this  is  to  be  attributed  the  calamities  that  origi- 
nated at  this  time,  and  unhappily  resulted  in  the 
death  of  two  of  the  Fathers  and  the  destruction  of 
all  the  southern  missions. 

The  Governor  of  the  Mission  of  Santiago  de  la 
Coras,  who  was  a  Christian,  born  of  a  mulatto  and 
an  Indian,  was  a  lewd,  dissolute  man.  His  name 
was  Botan.  It  is  proper  to  remark  that  he  had 
been  promoted  to  his  post  because  of  his  superior 
intelligence,  and  the  influence  he  possessed  with 
his  countrymen.    For  a  time  his  conduct  was  good, 


but  unwilling  to  submit  to  the  constant  restraint 
of  religion,  he  returned  to  his  former  excesses,  for 
which  he  was  frequently  rebuked  by  the  Father. 
When  it  was  found  that  neither  rebuke  nor  en- 
treaties had  any  effect  on  his  conduct  it  was  deem- 
ed necessary  to  deprive  him  of  his  office  and  pub- 
licly punish  him,  lest  his  evil  example  might  be 
the  cause  of  ruin  to  others.  Instead  of  bringing 
him  to  a  sense  of  religion,  the  well-merited  chas- 
tisement only  filled  him  with  rancor  and  caused 
him  to  form  a  conspiracy  against  the  life  of  the 
Father.  In  this  he  would  in  all  probability  have 
accomplished  his  end  had  not  the  missionary  been 
forewarned  of  his  design.  But  though  the  nefarious 
attempt  was  abortive,  the  consequences  were  still 
injurious  to  religion,  for  by  it  the  minds  of  the 
people  were  upset  and  the  seeds  of  rebellion  ex- 
tensively sown. 

Defeated  in  his  impious  purpose,  Botan  immedi- 
ately betook  himself  for  counsel  and  shelter  to  a 
gentile  Cazique,  who  was  also  a  dissolute  character, 
living  in  like  manner  with  a  great  number  of  women. 
Chicori,  for  this  was  the  gentile's  name,  had  also 
been  incensed  against  the  Religious,  and  had  made 
an  attempt  on  his  life  for  having  been  reproved 
for  stealing  a  girl  from  the  mission.  The  resolu- 
tion come  to  by  these  two  profligate  men  was  to 
murder  the  Father,  and  root  Christianity  out  of  that 
part  of  the  country;  that  thus  they  might  be  the 
better  enabled  to  indulge  in  their  accustomed  de- 

346  HISTORY    OF    THE 

baucheries.  The  influence  they  possessed  over 
the  minds  of  the  people  made  them  most  formid- 
able enemies,  especially  as  the  Father  had  nothing 
to  rely  on  but  the  fidelity  and  affection  of  the 
newly-made  converts.  The  more  readily  to  carry 
out  their  wicked  designs,  these  two  dissolute 
chiefs,  with  armed  bodies  of  followers,  lay  in  wait 
for  Father  Taraval,  who  was  then  about  to  return 
from  a  visit  to  a  brother  Religious.  Owing  to  the 
vigilance  and  fidelity  of  the  Christians,  the  Father 
was  apprised  of  the  danger,  as  in  the  first  instance, 
and  thus  narrowly  escaped  with  his  life.  The 
danger  to  religion  being  then  manifestly  great,  the 
Christians  of  the  neighboring  mission,  at  the  sug- 
gestion of  the  pastor,  took  up  arms  to  rid  them- 
selves of  the  enemy,  and  not  without  purpose.  On 
seeing  the  faithful  in  such  overwhelming  numbers, 
the  gentiles  hastily  withdrew  from  the  locality  and 
returned  to  their  homes. 

The  two  chiefs,  Chicori  and  Botan,  thus  finding 
their  plans  unavailing,  and  their  numbers  greatly 
diminished,  through  motives  of  policy,  lest  the 
Christians  would  fall  on  them  and  massacre  them 
without  pity,  thought  best  to  make  their  submis- 
sion, and  ask  pardon  for  their  offences.  A  peace 
was  accordingly  sued  for  and  granted.  But,  inas- 
much as  it  was  unreal  on  the  part  of  the  chiefs, 
having  been  merely  solicited  with  the  view  of 
strengthening  their  position,  and  of  maturing  their 
plans;  as  soon  as   circumstances  permitted,  they 


assumed  their  former  hostility  and  this  time  with 
unhappy  effect.  From  the  beginning,  under  the 
delusive  appearance  of  a  general  tranquillity,  there 
was  alive  a  spirit  of  revolt,  created  by  the  leaders 
and  shared  in  by  their  followers.  What  is  most 
humiliating,  and  almost  unaccountable  is,  that  even 
some  of  the  Christians  entered  into  the  conspiracy 
— lent  a  willing  ear  to  the  suggestions  of  Chicori 
and  his  friend,  and  this  at  a  time  when  ^they  were 
receiving  the  bounty  of  the  Father,  and  attending 
the  regular  exercises  of  the  mission. 

As  soon  as  the  conspirators  considered  them- 
selves sufficiently  strong,  they  resolved  to  make 
the  attack,  and  put  an  end  to  religion.  The  only 
opposition  they  expected  was  on  the  part  of  the 
soldiers;  but  as  their  number  was  small — amount- 
ing only  to  three — they  looked  upon  success  as  a 
certainty.  To  make  certainty,  however,  more  cer- 
tain, they  waylaid  one  of  the  soldiers,  and  having 
slain  him,  hastened  to  the  mission,  and  informed 
the  Father  that  his  friend  had  been  taken  suddenly  . 
ill  in  the  woods,  and  begged  him  to  go  and  con- 
fess him,  or  at  least  to  send  one  of  the  guards  to 
bring  him  to  the  housed  The  strangeness  of  the 
case,  and  the  confusion  and  embarrassment  be- 
trayed by  the  actors,  led  the  Father  to  suspect 
that  something  was  wrong,  and  that  a  project 
existed  for  murdering  himself  and  his  guard,  by 
dividing  their  strength.  His  suspicions  were  fur- 
ther increased,  and,  indeed,  the  truth  all  but  satis- 

348  HISTORY    OF    THE 

factorily  seen,  on  learning  that  the  same  or  another 
body  of  rebels  had  killed  the  other  member  of  the 
guard  then  in  charge  of  the  mission  of  La  Paz. 
At  such  a  critical  juncture,  prudence  might  have 
dictated  to  the  missionary  to  retire  for  a  time  from 
the  field  of  his  labors;  but  under  the  circumstances, 
he  did  not  consider  himself  justified  in  abandoning 
his  post.  Meantime  the  spirit  of  rebellion  was 
daily  increasing,  till  at  length,  unable  to  be  fur- 
ther restrained,  it  burst  forth  in  all  its  terrible  vio- 
lence, and  swept  as  a  torrent  over  that  and  the 
other  southern  missions.  Friday,  the  first  day  of 
October,  was  the  day  fixed  upon  for  the  rising. 
The  conspirators  had  determined  upon  attacking, 
in  the  first  instance,  the  mission  of  which  Father 
Caranco  was  pastor;  when  they  would  next  direct 
their  attention  to  other  reverend  missionaries. 
What  renders  the  crime  the  more  odious  and  un- 
natural is,  that  some  of  those  belonging  to  the 
missions,  on  whom  the  Father  had  especially  relied, 
.  were  engaged  in  the  plot.  Before  making  the 
attack,  the  conspirators  happening  to  encounter  a 
body  of  the  neophites,  returning  from  the  neigh- 
boring mission,  with  a  letter  for  the  Father, 
made  use  of  them  to  carry  out  their  design.  The 
plan  was  to  throw  the  Religious  off  his  guard,  and 
prevent  him  from  using  any  means  of  defence — a 
proceeding  which  resulted  entirely  according  to 
their  desires;  for,  while  engaged  in  reading  the  epis- 
tle, the  conspirators  rushed  violently  into  the  dwell- 


ing,  seized  upon  the  venerable  man,  and  dragging 
him  without,  as  he  prayed  for  his  enemies,  pierced 
him  with  arrows,  finishing  the  deed  of  blood  with 
clubs  and  stones.  Meantime,  some  of  the  mur- 
derers happening  to  espy  the  Father's  little  at- 
tendant weeping  for  the  fate  of  his  master,  imme- 
diately seized  him  by  the  feet,  and  dashed  out  his 
brains  on  the  floor.  The  noise  of  the  attack  drew 
the  entire  village  to  the  spot,  and  though  several 
expressed  their  horror  at  the  enormity  of  the  crime, 
they  were  unable  to  render  any  assistance  in  saving 
the  mission  as  they  beheld  among  the  murderers 
some  of  the  principal  men  of  the  place. 

From  this  the  reader  may  learn  the  fickle  and 
giddy  dispositions  of  the  natives.  Those  who  in 
the  morning  joined  with  the  Father  in  his  devo- 
tions, an  hour  or  two  later  united  with  his  enemies 
in  depriving  him  of  life.  To  finish  their  bloody 
intent,  they  resolved  upon  burning  the  body,  but 
before  doing  so,  subjected  it  to  the  most  shameful 
and  execrable  insults,  at  which  the  biographer  has 
only  delicately  hinted:  "The  several  shocking 
enormities  they  perpetrated  on  his  lifeless  corpse," 
(says  Father  Yenegas,)  "together  with  abomina- 
ble scurrilities,  before  they  committed  it  to  the 
flames,  are  best  passed  over  in  silence,  only  ob- 
serving that  their  barbarity  and  brutal  insults 
evidently  showed  that  the  great  object  of  their 
rage  and  indignity  was  the  doctrine  newly  intro- 
duced  by  the   Father,    especially  as  it  required 

350  HISTORY    OF    THE 

chastity  and  moderation."  Then,  amid  the  wildest 
scene  of  ribaldry,  tumult  and  execration,  the  bodies 
of  Lorenzo  Caranco  and  his  little  attendant  were 
tossed  into  the  flames.  Thus  died  on  the  first  of 
October,  in  the  year  of  our  Lord  1734,  the  first 
martyr  of  the  Californian  Church. 

The  murderers,  having  now  nothing  to  fear,  di- 
rected their  attention  to  the  pillage  of  the  presby- 
tery and  church.  Whatever  articles  they  could 
appropriate  to  any  use  they  retained ;  the  remain- 
der they  burned.  Pictures,  statues,  mass-books, 
chalices,  etc.,  were  hurled  indiscriminately  into 
the  fire.  The  Father's  two  domestics  happening 
to  return  at  this  moment,  arrived  on  the  scene 
only  to  share  the  same  fate  as  their  master. 

From  Santiago,  the  name  of  the  mission  thus 
ruined,  the  murderers  directed  their  steps  to  the 
mission  of  San  Jose.  Their  numbers  had  now 
considerably  increased,  for  independent  of  the  ac- 
cession they  received  at  the  last  mentioned  place, 
others  had  flocked  to  them  from  different  parts. 
On  Sunday,  the  3rd  of  October,  two  days  after  the 
massacre  at  St.  James,  they  arrived  at  San  Jose. 
It  was  about  eight  o'clock  in  the  morning.  Father 
Tamaral,  who  was  entirely  unprepared  for  their 
visit,  was  sitting  quietly  in  his  apartment  when  he 
was  aroused  at  seeing  a  great  body  of  men  rushing 
tumultuously  for  the  door.  On  entering  they  be- 
gan demanding  different  articles,  which,  if  denied 
them,  they  were  ready  to  turn  into  an  occasion  of 


quarrel,  that  thus  they  might  have  a  pretext  for 
murdering  the  venerable  man.  Realizing  their  evil 
designs,  the  Father,  in  order  to  leave  them  with- 
out an  excuse,  mildly  replied  that  there  was  suf- 
ficient for  all.  Thus  disappointed  in  finding  a  pre- 
text for  crime,  they  fell  presently  upon  him, 
knocked  him  to  the  ground,  dragged  him  from  the 
house,  and,  as  in  the  case  of  his  brother  Religious, 
dispatched  him  with  arrows  and  stones.  As  if  to 
put  a  climax  to  their  infamy  and  to  render  ingrat- 
itude more  patent,  while  breathing  his  last,  they 
resorted  to  the  horrible  extreme  of  cutting  his 
throat  with  one  of  those  knives  which  he  had  pur- 
chased for  their  use  !  Such  was  the  death  of  the 
Rev.  Father  Tamaral,  the  second  Californian  mis- 
sionary of  the  Society  of  Jesus,  who  died  for  the 
faith  after  having  labored  for  the  conversion  of  the 
people  eighteen  years  and  some  months.  By  birth 
Father  Tamaral  was  a  Spaniard,  having  been  born 
in  Seville  in  1687.  In  1712  he  proceeded  to  Mex- 
ico, whence  four  years  later  he  entered  on  the 
field  of  his  labors.  The  same  shocking  enormities 
were  practiced  on  his  corpse  as  in  the  case  of 
Father  Caranco,  the  only' difference,  if  any,  being 
that  there  was  less  restraint  and  decorum  observed 
by  the  infuriated  rabble. 

The  rebels  next  proceeded  to  the  mission  of  St. 
Rose,  but  here  they  were  happily  disappointed, 
for  the  Father,  having  received  information  of  their 
comingv  found  means  of  escape.     Disappointed  in 

352  HISTORY   OF    THE 

their  designs  on  the  life  of  the  Religious,  they 
turned  their  rage  against  the  Christians  of  the 
place,  and  butchered,  without  mercy,  all  that  fell 
into  their  hands,  to  the  number  of  eight-and-twen- 
ty,  the  others  having  succeeded  in  making  their 

The  consequences  likely  to  result  to  the  coun- 
try in  general  from  this  fierce  spirit  of  rebellion 
were  of  the  most  dangerous  and  deplorable  kind. 
As  soon  as  the  news  of  the  murder  of  the  mis- 
sionaries and  the  destruction  of  the  southern  mis- 
sions reached  the  ears  of  the  other  inhabitants,  the 
half-subdued  passions  of  many  were  fiercely  arous- 
ed, and  a  malevolent  desire  created  in  their  minds 
of  ridding  themselves  of  their  new  obligations  in 
order  to  return  to  their  former  excesses.  That 
this  was  not  the  sentiment  of  the  majority  was 
clear  from  the  outset,  but  the  danger  which  threat- 
ened the  Fathers  and  their  missions  was,  lest  the 
Christians  in  general  might  be  influenced  by  the 
voice  and  authority  of  the  popular  leaders,  as  often 
occurs  in  times  of  commotion.  Did  only  the  north- 
ern Indians  follow  the  example  of  their  southern 
brethren,  spirited  on  by  the  advice  of  a  few  disso- 
lute men,  Christianity  was  lost  in  the  country  and 
the  labors  of  a  generation  undone. 

Whatever  may  have  been  the  actual  sentiments 
of  the  northern  tribes  I  am  unable  to  say,  but  it  is 
certain  that  a  general  rising,  having  for  its  object 
the  entire  destruction  of  religion,  was  very  much 


feared.  At  this  very  critical  juncture  prudence 
dictated  to  the  Superior  of  the  missions  to  summon 
all  the  Religious  to  the  principal  station  of  Loretto, 
that  by  the  protection  of  the  garrison  their  lives 
might  be  saved.  He  also  sent  an  account  of  the 
atrocities  committed,  and  the  ruin  which  threat- 
ened the  country  in  general,  to  the  Viceroy  at 
Mexico,  requesting  his  excellency,  who  comprised 
in  his  person  the  office  of  Governor  and  Arch- 
bishop, to  take  the  necessary  measures  for  the 
safety  of  his  subjects  and  the  interests  of  religion. 
The  answer  returned  to  the  Father  Superior,  it  is 
lamentable  to  think,  was  entirely  unequal  to  the 
occasion.  It  was  as  unworthy  of  a  minister  of 
state  as  of  a  chief  of  religion.  Spanish  diplomacy 
never,  indeed,  seemed  up  to  an  emergenc}^.  The 
old  stately  routine  of  consulting  the  sovereign  was 
to  be  maintained  under  every  circumstance,  even 
in  the  most  exceptional  cases.  Thousands  might 
perish,  religion  might  suffer,  the  dependency  may 
even  be  lost  to  the  crown,  but  without  conferring 
with  the  monarch,  and  learning  his  pleasure,  no 
aid,  not  a  soldier  could  be  sent  to  the  country. 
The  answer  of  his  excellency  was  in  substance  as 
follows :  He  was  conscious  of  the  dangers  to  which 
the  country  and  religion  were  exposed — the  per- 
ilous position  of  the  Fathers  could  not  for  a  mo- 
ment be  doubted.  His  powers,  however,  of  Gov- 
ernor prevented  him  from  acting  in  the  matter. 

Should  the  Fathers  think  well  of  addressing  his 

354  HISTORY   OF   THE 

majesty,  he  would  use  his  endeavors  to  forward 
their  interests. 

The  unfitness  of  a  Governor  for  his  position, 
was,  probably,  never  more  strikingly  shown  than 
in  this.  Language  cannot  too  strongly  condemn 
the  weakness  and  imbecility  of  a  man  who  would 
thus  vainly  trifle  with  the  lives  of  the  people  and 
the  best  interests  of  religion.  Four  of  the  south- 
ern missions  had  been  already  destroyed,  two  of 
the  missionaries  massacred,  the  spirit  of  revolt  on 
the  increase,  a  general  rising  daily  expected,  and 
yet,  with  the  knowledge  of  this,  the  archiepiscopal 
Governor  of  Mexico  should  wait  till  he  received 
positive  instructions  from  his  majesty  in  Europe  ! 
The  heartlessness  of  the  proceeding  was,  indeed, 
only  in  keeping  with  the  previous  action  of  the 
Mexican  Council,  and  proved  most  effectually  that 
a  government  so  managed  required  the  first  ele- 
ments of  power,  and  could  not,  for  any  great  length 
of  time  prevent  the  dependency  from  falling  into 
other  and  abler  hands. 

At  the  same  time  that  Father  Guillen,  the  Su- 
perior, wrote  to  the  Governor  of  Mexico  for  aid, 
Father  Bravo  made  a  similar  appeal  to  the  Gover- 
nor of  Sinaloa,  on  the  opposite  coast,  praying  his 
excellency  to  send  to  their  aid  some  fifty  or  more 
of  the  Indians,  with  a  few  of  the  soldiers.  The 
Indians  of  that  part  were  the  Yaqui,  and  to  their 
honor  be  it  stated,  that  no  sooner  had  they  learned 
the  state  of  affairs,  and  the  very  critical  position 


of  the  Fathers,  than  five  hundred  of  them  pre- 
sented themselves  armed,  at  the  Bay,  ready  to 
start  for  California.  As  the  vessel  dispatched  for 
the  purpose  was  unable  to  accommodate  that  num- 
ber, sixty  of  the  ablest  were  chosen  for  the  occa- 
sion; but,  that  the  others  might  not  be  deprived 
of  a  share  in  the  work,  they  presented  their  arms 
to  their  companions,  and  requested  them  to  put 
them  into  the  hands  of  the  faithful,  on  landing. 
Thus  the  aid  which  might  and  ought  to  have  been 
granted  by  a  responsible  government  and  a  civi- 
lized people,  was  furnished  by  rude,  recently  con- 
verted aborigines. 

From  the  moment  that  the  Fathers,  in  obedience 
to  the  call  of  authority,  had  abandoned  the  mis- 
sions and  retired  to  Loretto,  the  general  state  of 
affairs  assumed  a  more  favorable  aspect.  The 
great  majority  of  the  Christians  were,  at  least, 
sensible  enough  to  understand  that  the  priests 
were  truly  their  friends,  and  that  socially  and 
morally  they  had  improved  their  condition.  The 
cause  of  the  missionaries'  retirement  was  clear  to 
their  minds;  for,  on  leaving,  they  had  carried  away 
the  ornaments  and  valuables  of  the  churches.  For 
the  first  time  in  their  lives,  these  poor  children  of 
impulse  began  to  realize  a  void  in  their  lives — to 
see  the  necessity  of  their  dependence  on  others, 
and  the  sweets  and  advantages  of  the  Christian 
religion.  To  attempt  the  practice  of  Christianity 
without  the  Fathers,  was  impossible;  to  return  to 

356  HISTORY    OF   THE 

their  former  wandering,  miserable  existence,  they 
were  unwilling.     Gratitude,  too,  to  those  who  so 
faithfully  labored   in  their  cause,   providing  not 
only  for  their  spiritual;  but  temporal  wants,  spoke 
most  forcibly  to  the  hearts  of  the  more  reflective 
and  better  disposed,  and  failed  not  to  elicit  a  ready 
response  at  their  hands.     In  a  word,  their  sorrow 
was  real;  and  so,  after  a  joint  consultation,  it  was 
resolved  to  proceed  to  Loretto,  in  solemn  proces- 
sion, to  implore  the  venerable  missionaries  not  to 
abandon  them  to  their  miserable  state.  According 
to  arrangement,  numbers  of  the  principal  Chris- 
tians started  in  procession  for  the  garrison,  bear- 
ing on  their  shoulders  the  crosses  of  the  missions, 
and  giving  expression  to  their  sorrow  in  an  abun- 
dance of  tears.     Their   petition  was  to  the  effect 
that  as  the  Fathers  had  baptized  and  reclaimed 
them,   they  would  not  abandon  them  now,  and 
suffer  them  to  return  to  their  former   excesses. 
Their  first  and  most  earnest  desire  was  to  live  and 
die  in  the  holy  Catholic  Church;  and,  surely,  it 
was  unfit  that  the  crimes  of  a  few  should  be  vis- 
ited on  all,  especially  as  they  were  willing  to  de- 
nounce the  insubordinate,  and  to  deliver  up  to  the 
authorities  all  who  had   spoken  and  acted  amiss. 
Should  the  Fathers  refuse  to  return,  they  would 
settle  at  Loretto,  as  they  could  not  bear  to  be  sep- 
arated from  their  tmstors. 

These  and   other  like   arguments  were   urged 
with  such  an  earnestness  and  apparent  sincerity, 


that  the  missionaries  were  moved  to  compassion; 
but,  to  assure  themselves  of  the  people's  real  in- 
tentions, they  refused,  at  the  outset,  to  comply 
with  their  request,  yet  suffered  them  to  remain  at 
the  garrison.  No  evidence  of  an  evil  intent  ap- 
pearing in  their  conduct,  the  Fathers  consented  to 
return  to  the  missions,  where  they  were  received 
by  their  flocks  in  a  most  gratifying  manner.  In 
order  the  better  to  maintain  their  authority,  as 
also  to  satisfy  the  wishes  of  many,  a  nominal  pun- 
ishment was  awarded  the  more  culpable,  and  thus 
four  of  the  principal  disturbers  were  banished  for  a 
time,  that  the  seeds  of  rebellion  might  not  remain 
in  the  country. 

The  opportune  arrival  of  the  troops  from  Sina- 
loa,  aided  in  establishing  general  tranquillity,  and 
in  strengthening  the  Father's  position.  The  south- 
ern inhabitants,  however,  remained  in  a  state  of 
open  hostility,  and  their  insolence  and  animosity 
were  even  increased  through  an  accident.  Shortly 
after  the  massacre  of  Fathers  Caranco  and  Tamaral, 
while  the  southern  part  of  the  peninsula  was  en- 
tirely in  the  hands  of  the  rebels,  the  annual  Phil- 
ippine vessel  called  at  the  Cape,  expecting  to  meet 
with  a  hospitable  reception.  On  landing,  thirteen 
of  the  men  were  sent  by  the  Captain  to  give  in- 
telligence to  the  Father  of  the  vessel's  arrival,  a 
few  being  left  in  charge  of  the  pinnace.  While  pro- 
ceeding from  the  beach  in  the  direction  of  the  vil- 
lage, they  were  suddenly  attacked  by  a  body  of  In- 

358  HISTORY   OF   THE 

dians,  who  rushed  from  an  ambush,  and  massacred 
all  on  the  spot.  The  murderers  next  rushed  upon 
those  in  charge  of  the  boat,  and,  as  they  were  not 
on  their  guard,  they  too  fell  victims  to  their  fury. 
This  atrocity  did  not  go  without  its  reward.  The 
Captain,  surprised  at  the  delay  of  his  men,  sent 
some  of  the  crew  to  report  on  the  matter.  These, 
on  seeing  the  mangled  corpses  of  their  companions 
became  so  enraged,  that  they  rushed  madly 
upon  the  savages,  and  fully  revenged  the  blood  of 
their  fallen  companions.  Immediately  after,  the 
Captain  sailed  for  Mexican  waters,  where  the  news 
of  the  tragedy  excited  universal  regret,  and 
caused  steps  to  be  taken  for  the  further  chastise- 
ment of  the  offenders. 



Punishment  op  the  Ringleaders  in  the  late  Rebellion. —  Orders 
from  his  Majesty  Philip  V.  to  establish  a  Garrison. — Restor- 
ation of  the  Missions. —  Orders  of  Ferdinand  V.  for  estab- 
lishing Mexican  Colonies. —  A  Juncture  to  be  formed  between 
the  Missions  of  California  and  Sonora  on  the  Colorado. — 
Father  Kuhno's  Labors  in'  Sonora.  —  Father  Sedelmayer  ex- 
amines the  Colorado. — State  of  Religion  in  California  at 
that  period. — Terrible  Epidemic.  —  Death  of  Father  Brayo 
and  Father  Tempis. — Departure  of  Father  Sestiago. 

Upon  learning  of  the  disaster  to  the  crew  of  the 
Spanish  galleon,  the  Viceroy,  for  once  in  his  life, 
acted  as  a  responsible  government  agent.  Without 
waiting  to  consult  his  majesty's  pleasure,  he  imme- 
diately sent  orders  to  the  Governor  of  Sinaloa  to 
proceed  with  all  haste  to  California  to  check  the 
rebellion  and  punish  the  ringleaders.  Though 
obedient  to  the  commands  of  the  Viceroy,  the 
course  pursued  by  the  Governor  was  but  ill- 
suited  to  the  object  in  view.  By  a  constant  dis- 
play of  benevolence  and  clemency,  he  vainly 
wasted  his  time  and  the  means  at  his  command. 
At  the  end  of  a  couple  of  years,  he  learned  that 
the  reduction  of  the  country  was  not  to  be  effected 
as  he  expected.  A  just  appreciation  of  the  char- 
acter of  the  people,  and  of  the  wild,  ungovernable 
state  in  which  they  were  then,  might  have  assured 
him  of  this  from  the  beginning.     But  neither  the 

360  HISTORY    OF    THE 

advice  of  the  Fathers,  nor  the  lawlessness  of  the 
people  was  sufficient  to  disabuse  him  of  his  error. 
Experience  eventually  taught  him  the  lesson. 

Tired  and  disgusted  at  the  continued  hostility 
of  the  savages,  he  ultimately  resorted  to  rigor,  and 
made  the  disaffected  understand  the  necessity  of  an 
immediate  submission.  In  a  general  engagement, 
to  which  he  had  the  fortune  of  bringing  the  rebels, 
he  inflicted  such  losses  on  their  numbers  as  to  very 
much  dishearten  the  leaders,  yet  not  so  as  to  cause 
them  to  retire  entirely  from  the  contest.  A  show  of 
opposition  was  still  maintained  for  a  time,  but  ended 
in  a  second  general  encounter,  wherein  they  were 
completely  undone,  when  they  surrendered  at  dis- 
cretion, on  the  hope  of  a  pardon.  Among  the 
captured  were  the  two  principal  murderers  of  the 
recently  massaered  Fathers.  On  these,  at  least, 
justice  should  have  demanded  the  exercise  of  cap- 
ital punishment;  but  the  incapacity  and  ill-timed 
clemency  of  the  Governor  only  subjected  them, 
with  their  companions  in  blood,  to  banishment  to 
the  coast  of  New  Spain.  This  immunity,  however, 
at  the  hands  of  the  Governor,  did  not  save  them 
from  the  anger  of  Heaven ;  for  a  little  while  after, 
both  of  them  fell  victims  to  the  Divine  justice, 
having  met  with  miserable  and  untimely  deaths. 

Letters  were  now  received  from  his  Majesty 
Philip  V.  ordering  the  Vicero}?"  to  establish  a  gar- 
rison at  or  near  some  of  the  southern  missions, 
with  the  view  of  re-establishing  and  promoting 


the  conquest  of  the  country.  The  establishment 
of  garrisons  had  been  already  commanded  by  Gov- 
ernment, as  we  have  previously  said,  but  from  the 
supineness  of  underlings,  nothing  was  done;  and, 
to  this  inattention  of  Mexican  officials  must  be 
attributed  the  losses  sustained  by  religion  during 
the  rebellion. 

One  of  the  provisions  of  the  newly-made  order 
was  to  the  effect  that  neither  the  officers  nor  sol- 
diers should,  in  any  way,  depend  upon  the  Fathers 
for  their  position,  promotion  or  discharge.  The 
reasonableness  of  this  resolution  may  appear  to 
the  reader  only  in  accordance  with  propriety  and 
justice ;  yet  the  numerous  evils  to  which  it  neces- 
sarily led,  were  even  more  detrimental  to  religion 
than  the  entire  absence  of  all  military  aid.  It  was, 
in  reality,  only  deciding  in  favor  of  the  military 
the  old  question  of  trading  and  fishing  for  pearls. 
Experience,  as  we  have  said,  had  taught  the  Reli- 
gious the  dangers  and  inconveniences  of  this,  and 
so,  to  avoid  such  an  evil,  it  was  necessary  to  strictly 
prohibit  the  speculation  to  all.  Moreover,  were 
the  Fathers  to  tolerate  such  a  system,  independent 
of  all  acts  of  oppression,  the  soldiers  would  become 
negligent  of  their  military  duties  ;  they  would 
grow  discontented  with  their  subordinate  position, 
and,  in  all  probability,  refuse  to  accompany  the 
missionaries  on  their  various  excursions.  That 
they  were  not  mistaken  herein,  the  subsequent 
state  of  affairs  abundantly  proves,  for  to  such  a  state 

362  HISTORY   OF    THE 

of  confusion  and  disorder  did  all  things  arrive,  in 
consequence  of  the  natives  being  sorely  aggrieved, 
that  the  country  was  brought  to  the  verge  of  an- 
other rebellion,  which  if  it  happened  would,  in  all 
probability,  have  destroyed^every  vestige  of  Christ- 
ianity in  the  land.  The  abnormal  and  confused 
state  of  affairs  produced  at  length  so  many  and 
such  frequent  complaints,  that  the  Viceroy  saw  the 
necessity  of  changing  his  policy,  and  putting  the 
garrison,  as  before,  under  the  control  of  the  Reli- 
gious. To  this  wise  regulation,  which  should 
never  have  been  altered,  was  due  the  subsequent 
tranquillity  of  the  peninsula,  and  the  happy  res- 
toration of  religion  among  the  people. 

As  soon  as  the  disturbed  state  of  the  country 
was  brought  into  order  under  the  renewed  author- 
ity of  the  Fathers,  new  efforts  were  made  by  the 
society  for  the  restoration  of  the  lately  destroyed 
missions.  The  dispersed  Christians  were  once 
more  gathered  together,  churches  erected,  and  the 
services  of  religion  revived.  Those  places  stained 
with  the  blood  of  the  missionaries  were  objects  of 
special  attention.  The  mission  of  Sanjago,  where 
Father  Caranco  had  been  martyred,  was  entrusted 
to  Father  Anthony  Tempis,  a  man  of  rare  and 
solid  virtue.  By  his  constant  and  unwearied  ex- 
ertions he  succeeded  in  winning  back  to  religion 
and  to  habits  of  piety  a  remnant  of  the  former  in- 
habitants, among  whom  he  continued  to  labor  till 


The  outlay  demanded  for  quelling  the  rebellion, 
as  also  for  the  establishment  of  the  lately  ruined 
missions,  being  more  than  the  Father's  resources 
could  conveniently  meet,  an  appeal  to  the  monarch 
became  necessary.  The  application,  it  is  pleasing 
to  think,  was  not  without  fruit.  On  the  10th  of 
April,  1737,  the  Viceroy  acquainted  his  Majesty 
with  the  state  of  affairs,  and  humbly  represented 
that  the  Society  stood  in  need  of  the  favor  of  the 
crown.  The  representation  was  immediately  at- 
tended to.  On  learning  the  critical  state  of  affairs 
and  the  crippled  resources  of  the  Fathers,  the 
King  ordered  that  a  garrison  should  be  immedi- 
ately formed,  and  the  expenses  required  for  com- 
pletely reducing  the  country  to  be  paid  from  the 
royal  exchequer.  He  demanded,  however,  that 
the  scheme  for  the  general  reduction  of  the  penin- 
sula be  forwarded  to  himself  for  inspection  and 
approval.  A  plan  was  accordingly  drawn  up  and 
forwarded  to  Spain,  to  which,  in  due  time,  the 
royal  assent  was  affixed  with  instructions  for  carry- 
ing it  into  effect.  But  before  this  could  be  done, 
on  the  13th  of  November,  1744,  another  warrant 
was  forwarded  to  the  Viceroy  demanding  addition- 
al information  on  the  matter.  To  this  an  answer 
was  given  by  the  Provincial  of  the  Society  at  Mex- 
ico, but  it  did  not  arrive  at  Madrid  till  after  the 
death  of  the  King.  His  successor,  Ferdinand  VI., 
was  equally  interested  in  the  scheme,  and  repeated 
his   father's   instructions   to   the   Viceroy.      The 

364  HISTORY   OF   THE 

purport  of  his  letter  to  the  Governor  was  to  the 
effect,  that  it  was  the  opinion  of  his  council  that 
measures  should  be  immediately  taken  for  the  spir- 
itual and  temporal  subjugation  of  the  peninsula, 
and  that  such  a  result  was  only  to  be  expected 
through  the  energy  and  zeal  of  the  Jesuit  missionary 
Fathers,  under  whose  fostering  care  so  many  and 
such  numerous  infidel  tribes  were  brought  to  a 
knowledge  of  the  truth.  He  further  expressed  a 
desire  that,  in  the  neighborhood  of  all  the  principal 
harbors,  there  should  be  formed,  as  soon  as  cir- 
cumstances permitted,  Spanish  or  Mexican  settle- 
ments, which  would  serve  as  a  safeguard  for  ves- 
sels and  a  protection  for  the  missionaries.  A 
Spanish  colony  was  likewise  suggested  to  be  set- 
tled in  the  interior,  with  the  view  of  affording  re- 
fuge to  the  Fathers  in  case  of  rebellion ;  while  the 
whole  of  the  frontier  missions  were  to  be  guarded 
by  troops  subject  to  the  Religious,  and  employed 
as  their  escorts  when  journeying  through  infidel 
territory.  Further  the  royal  instructions  went  on 
to  suggest  that  a  point  of  communication  should, 
if  possible,  be  established  between  the  missions  of 
Sonora  and  those  of  California  at  the  entrance  of 
the  Colorado,  or  Red,  river.  But  as  the  Pimas,  the 
Cocomaricopas  and  Yumas,  the  inhabitants  of  those 
parts,  were  still  pagan,  the  missionaries,  in  order 
to  effect  such  a  junction,  should  direct  their  atten- 
tion to  the  conversion  of  those  tribes.  By  these 
and  other  like  means  it  was  hoped  that  the  entire 


reduction  of  the  country,  both  spiritual  and  tem- 
poral, would  be  securely  accomplished.  The  royal 
instructions  concluded  by  assuring  the  Keverend 
Fathers  that  the  sums  necessary  for  the  accomplish- 
ment of  these  works  would  be  furnished  from  his 
Majesty's  treasury. 

The  instructions  thus  directed  to  the  Governor 
of  New  Spain  were  in  every  way  worthy  of  an  en- 
lightened and  politic  ruler.  It  has  been  stated 
above,  that  at  the  commencement  of  the  Californian 
missions,  Fathers  Ktihno  and  Salva  Tierra  had 
formed  the  noble  and  extensive  design  of  convert- 
ing and  subjecting  to  Spain  all  the  inhabitants 
along  the  Pacific  from  Mexico  to  Oregon.  In  the 
accomplishment  of  this  it  was  contemplated  that 
the  one — Father  Tierra — should  carry  on  the  work 
of  conversion  through  the  whole  of  the  peninsula, 
and  the  other  through  the  territory  of  Sonora  and 
the  countries  of  the  Papagos  and  the  Cocomarico- 
pas,  till  he  arrived  as  far  north  as  the  present  lim- 
its of  Alta  California.  That  they  would  have  suc- 
ceeded in  the  scheme,  had  they  from  the  begin- 
ning had  such  a  monarch  as  Ferdinand  for  a  patron, 
there  is  little  reason  to  doubt. 

Before  acquainting  the  reader  with  the  endeav- 
ors of  the  Fathers  in  seeking  to  accomplish  the 
royal  instructions  regarding  the  juncture  to  be 
made  on  the  banks  of  the  Colorado,  it  is  proper,  in 
the  first  instance,  to  speak  of  the  situation  and 
boundaries  of  Sonora.     The  smallest  of  the  once 

366  HISTORY    OF    THE 

Spanish- American  possessions,  Sonora  lies  on  the 
eastern  side  of  the  California  Gulf.  It  extends 
from  the  mouth  of  the  Hiaqui  to  the  country  of 
the  Apaches,  in  a  northeasterly  direction.  The 
most  northern  mission  was  that  of  Concepcion  de 
Caborca,  about  three  hundred  miles  from  Hiaqui. 
This  mission,  which  was  founded  about  1690,  was 
totally  destroyed  by  the  savages  in  an  insurrection 
in  1751,  when  two  of  the  venerable  missionaries, 
Fathers  Thomas  Tillo  and  Henry  Rohen,  received 
the  palm  of  martyrdom.  In  circumference,  So- 
nora is  about  three  hundred  and  fifty  leagues,  or 
one  thousand  and  more  miles.  It  was  inhabited 
by  various  tribes,  known  as  the  Opates,  the  Topas, 
the  Tejuaianas,  etc.,  among  whom  the  Jesuit  Fathers 
established  as  many  as  four-and-twenty  mis- 
sions. The  climate  is  mild,  and  the  general  ap- 
pearance of  the  country  agreeable  —  diversified 
mountain  ranges  and  fertile  valleys  meeting  the 
eye  in  every  direction.  Along  the  coast  runs  a 
succession  of  barren,  sandy  hills,  inhabited,  in 
those  days,  by  a  few  wandering  tribes,  who  ob- 
tained a  precarious  existence  by  fishing;  but 
among  whom,  in  consequence  of  the  impediments 
offered  by  nature,  a  mission  could  never  be  es- 

Besides  being  a  country  remarkably  adapted  for 
agricultural  purposes,  as  possessing  numerous  fer- 
tile valleys  and  extensive  pasture  ranges,  Sonora 
was  also  known,  even  then,  to  be  rich  in  mineral 


productions  of  considerable  value.  With  this 
double  advantage,  however,  the  province  was  poor, 
in  consequence  of  the  difficulty  and  expense  of 
working  the  mines,  and  the  necessity  of  import- 
ing several  commodities  from  abroad. 

In  1687,  when  Father  Kuhno  entered  the  terri- 
tory, there  was  then  only  one  mission  in  the  coun- 
try, that  in  the  vicinity  of  Pimeria  Alta.  How 
much  this  remarkable  man  effected,  in  reclaiming 
those  wandering  savages  will  never  be  known.  A 
mere  glimpse  of  his  labors  is  all  that  is  given  us  by 
his  brother  Religious.  With  a  zeal  and  a  fervor 
worthy  of  the  greatest  Apostle,  he  traversed  the 
country  in  every  direction,  preaching  the  gospel 
and  reclaiming  the  natives.  Neither  the  priva- 
tions necessarily  connected  with  a  wandering  life 
among  the  savage  inhabitants,  whose  only  means 
of  subsistence  was  the  chase  or  the  spontaneous 
offerings  of  nature,  nor  the  fear  of  falling  among 
barbarous  hordes,  who  might  demand,  as  the  pen- 
alty of  his  daring,  the  sacrifice  of  his  life,  were 
sufficient  to  prevent  him  from  acting  the  part  of 
the  Apostle.  No  wonder,  under  such  circum- 
stances, that  success  should  have  attended  his  la- 
bors. Everywhere  he  succeeded  in  teaching  the 
people  religion,  and  in  prevailing  upon  them  to 
abandon  their  barbarous  state. 

The  people  being  of  different  tribes,  and  speak- 
ing different  languages,  he  had  the  patience  and 
zeal  to  learn  those  different  tongues,  into  which 

368  HISTORY   OF   THE 

he  translated  the  catechetical  instructions  and 
prayers.  He  also  formed  vocabularies  and  ele- 
mentary works  for  the  use  of  his  assistants  and 
successors.  So  great  was  the  success  he  met  with 
among  all  classes,  that  had  he,  according  to  his 
often  repeated  request,  been  aided  by  others,  he 
would,  in  all  probability,  have  converted  the  en- 
tire country  from  the  Hiaqui  to  the  Colorado.  As 
it  was,  he  baptized  with  his  own  hand,  and  caused 
to  settle  down  into  regular  civilized  life,  forty  thou- 
sand of  the  inhabitants  ! *  But  the  great  difficul- 
ties he  had  to  contend  with  were  not  so  much 
those  arising  from  an  absence  of  aid,  as  from  the 
demoralizing,  unjustifiable  conduct  of  the  Spanish 
inhabitants.  As  colonists,  it  was  in  the  interests 
of  the  Europeans,  that  the  Indians  should  be  kept 
in  a  state  of  subjection,  and  made  to  serve  in  the 
capacity  of  slaves  on  the  farms  and  in  the  mines. 
Against  this  system  of  violence  and  oppression  the 
venerable  man  sternly  lifted  his  voice,  and  con- 
stantly struggled  with  all  his  endeavors,  not  only 
because  of  the  injustice  and  demoralizing  effects  it 
produced  on  his  people,  but  because  it  acted  as  a 
powerful  barrier  against  future  conversion.     If  the 

(1)  Bautizo  este  grande  obrero  de  la  viSa  del  Senorinas  de  quarenta 
mil  de  estos  Infideles,  y  pudiera  haverse,  alargado  a  muchas  mas  mil- 
lares,  si  buviera  tenido  esperaiiza  de  poderlos  en  adelante  assistir 
senalandos  missionero,  que  ciudasse  de  doctrinarles .  *  *  *  Lo  singu- 
lar es,  que  no  solo  formo  Pueblos,  y  bautizo  Indios,  sino  cbe  en  gran 
parte  les  reduxo  a  vida  politia,  y  les  enseSo  a  fabricar  Casas,  construir 
Iglesias,  beneficiar  tierras,  formar  estancias,  cuidar  gavades,  bacer  pro- 
vision de  frutos,  etc."    Apostolicos  Afanes  de  la  Compania  de  Jesus;  p. 


vassalage  of  the  farms  and  the  mines  was  the  only 
immediate  reward  to  be  obtained  by  embracing  the 
Christian  religion,  why  should  the  savage  cease  to 
be  free? 

By  his  constant  and  unwearied  exertions,  Father 
Kiihno  succeeded  at  length  in  obtaining  a  modifi- 
cation of  the  atrocities  perpetrated  on  his  people. 
The  inhumanity  of  the  Mexican  council  was  re- 
laxed to  the  extent  of  only  demanding  the  forced 
services  of  the  natives  five  years  after  the  date  of 
their  conversion  !  This  was  afterwards  lengthened 
by  Charles  II.  to  a  term  of  twenty  years,  but  unfor- 
tunately for  the  interests  of  religion  and  humanity 
this  order  was  never  observed,  and  the  Father  had 
the  mortification  of  seeing  his  converts,  whom  he 
had  civilized  with  infinite  pains,  constantly  dragged 
from  their  homes  and  buried  in  the  bowels  of  the 
earth,  whither  they  were  consigned  by  the  avarice 
and  heartlessness  of  the  Spanish  inhabitants.  The 
odiousness  of  this  system  has  rarely  or  never  been 
equaled  by  a  conquering  race;  certainly  never  by 
a  Christian  community. 

Beside  the  injustice  of  the  proceeding  and  the 
obstacle  it  was  likely  txT  offer  to  the  future  con- 
version of  the  still  uncivilized  races,  it  was  further 
attended  with  the  most  lamentable  and  deplorable 
consequences  as  regarded  the  purity  and  morality 
of  the  people.  Huddled  together  in  the  greatest 
confusion,    without  any  restraint  or  surveillance, 

the  masters  having  only  in  view  their  personal 

370  HISTORY    OF    THE 

profit,  the  morals  of  the  neophytes  suffered  most 
fearfully,  and  crimes  were  committed,  both  on  the 
farms  and  in  the  mines,  over  which  it  is  better 
to  draw  the  vail  of  oblivion. 

To  contend  successfully  against  such  formidable 
obstacles  was  more  than  an  apostle  could  be  ex- 
pected to  do,  yet  under  such  special  and  enormous 
disadvantages  Father  Kiihno  continued  to  advance 
the  state  of  religion,  and  succeecled-in  establishing 
even  in  the  face  of  those  formidable  difficulties 
several  Christian  communities.  Some  idea  of  this 
remarkable  missionary's  labors  may  be  had  from 
the  following:  In  1698  he  set  out  on  a  tour  of  in- 
spection, and  after  proceeding  as  far  north  as  the 
Gila,  turned  west  till  he  came  to  the  head  of  the 
Gulf.  Thence  continuing  his  course  to  the  south, 
on  arriving  at  the  Mission  Dolores  he  had  traveled 
on  foot  from  nine  to  ten  hundred  miles.  This,  in  a 
country  destitute  of  every  convenience,  wild,  rug- 
ged and  mountainous,  and  inhabited  only  by  un- 
civilized races,  was  a  most  arduous  and  perilous 
adventure.  But  it  was  only  one  of  many  of  a  sim- 
ilar kind.  During  the  subsequent  years  of  his 
ministry  he  made  other  equally  lengthened,  ardu- 
ous and  perilous  journeys,  sometimes  for  the  pur- 
pose of  preaching  the  gospel,  sometimes  for  quell- 
ing rebellion,  sometimes  for  reconciling  enemies, 
and  sometimes  with  the  view  of  promoting  the 
people's  social  condition  by  instructing  them  in 
the  means  necessary  for  providing  for  their  tem- 
poral wants. 


Such  was  the  life  of  that  truly  great  and  re- 
markable minister  of  G-od,  and,  unhappily  for  the 
cause  of  religion,  none  others  were  found  of  like 
zeal  and  ability  to  continue  his  noble  endeavors. 
After  his  death,  which  happened  in  1710,  the  mis- 
sions were  in  a  great  measure  abandoned,  the 
churches  in  many  instances  fell  into  ruins,  the  cul- 
tivation of  the  land  was  neglected,  and  the  Chris- 
tians almost  entirely  abandoned.  For  five-and- 
thirty  years  after  his  death  some  of  the  faithful 
never  saw  the  face  of  a  priest,  and  under  such  cir- 
cumstances it  is  not  difficult  to  see  how  the  faith 
must  have  suffered.  The  old  converts  in  a  great 
measure  died  out,  those  who  survived  retained 
only  a  feeble  idea  of  what  had  been  taught  them 
a  quarter  of  a  century  previous,  while  the  children 
born  in  the  interim  differed  but  little  in  habits  and 
customs  from  the  gentiles.  Of  the  fourteen  mis- 
sions founded  by  the  Father  only  three  remained 
at  this  time.  In  1731  an  effort  was  made  to  re- 
establish the  missions  and  revive  the  religion.  At 
the  request  of  the  Bishop  of  Durango,  in  whose 
diocese  this  section  of  the  country  was,  his  Majesty 
made  an  assignment  for  "three  missionary  priests, 
to  be  paid  from  the  royal  exchequer.  Three  Jesuit 
Fathers  accordingly  entered  the  territory  and 
founded,  in  addition  to  the  missions  already  estab- 
lished, three  others,  thereby  making  in  all  a  total 
of  six  with  their  respective  sub-stations.  This 
was  the  actual  state  of  Pimeria  in  1742,  when,  as 

372  HISTORY    OF    THE 

I  have  stated  above,  instructions  were  sent  from 
the  Court  of  Madrid  for  forming  a  junction  at  the 
mouth  of  the  Colorado  with  the  view  of  reducing 
the  entire  population. 

In  order  to  carry  out  his  Majesty's  wish  as 
speedily  and  effectually  as  possible,  two  expedi- 
tions were  now  undertaken  to  determine  the  state 
of  the  country,  and  the  places  most  proper  for 
forming  the  new  settlements.  In  1745,  Father 
Ignatius  Keller,  in  obedience  to  orders  received 
from  his  ecclesiastical  superiors,  set  out  on  a  tour 
of  inspection  in  the  direction  just  named.  On 
arriving  at  the  G-ila,  he  found  it  impossible  to  ad- 
vance, his  attendants  having  refused  to  accompany 
him  further.  The  following  year,  instructions  to 
the  same  effect  were  sent  to  Father  Sedelmayer; 
in  accordance  with  which  he  proceeded  to  the  point 
last  reached  by  his  predecessor,  where  he  was 
kindly  received  by  the  gentiles.  From  thence 
he  examined  the  country  in  every  direction,  and 
found  several  well-watered  tracts,  remarkably 
adapted  for  agricultural  purposes.  Here,  too,  were 
several  tribes,  on  whom  Father  Kuhno  had  made 
the  most  favorable  impression.  Taking,  then,  the 
natural  advantages  of  the  country,  as  well  as  the 
favorable  disposition  of  the  people  into  account, 
it  was  thought  that  by  means  of  six  or  eight  mis- 
sions, the  country  could  be  brought  to  obedience, 
and  his  Majesty's  wishes  accomplished.  But,  as 
the  project  was  one  of  the  greatest  importance, 


it  was  deemed  proper  for  the  Father  to  proceed  in 
person  to  Mexico,  and  lay  an  account  of  his  ob- 
servations before  the  proper  authorities,  with  the 
view  of  having  the  same  made  known  to  the  Kino;. 
The  report  drawn  up  and  forwarded  to  Madrid 
by  the  Father  Provincial  of  the  Society,  amongst 
other  things,  contained  a  petition  requesting  that 
the  Jesuit  missionaries  in  the  diocese  of  Durango 
be  suffered  to  relinquish  their  charge  in  favor  of 
some  others,  in  order  to  devote  themselves  to  the 
conversion  of  the  northern  gentiles.  In  this  man- 
ner, the  number  of  missionaries  being  increased, 
the  hopes  of  success  would  be  proportionately  aug- 
mented. The  Father  Provincial  further  submitted 
that  the  allowance  of  three  hundred  dollars  a 
year  was  insufficient  for  the  decent  support  of  those 
missionaries  situated  at  such  distances  from  Mexico, 
and  that  a  garrison  of  one  hundred  and  fifty  sol- 
diers should  be  formed  on  the  Gila  for  the  protec- 
tion of  the  Fathers.  Although  there  was  nothing 
directly  mentioned  in  the  letter  respecting  Cali- 
fornia, it  was  understood  that,  if  the  project  suc- 
ceeded, the  Fathers  would  continue  their  labors 
through  the  northern  part  of  the  peninsula  till 
they  reached  the  missions  contemplated.  While 
an  answer  was  being  awaited  from  Europe,  a  sta- 
tistical account  of  the  Californian  missions  was 
drawn  up  and  forwarded  to  Mexico.  From  that 
list,  and  another  formed  at  a  subsequent  period, 
the  following  was  then  the  general  state  of  religion 
in  the  country: 

374  HISTORY    OF    THE 

I.  The  mission  of  Our  Lady  of  Loretto,  situated 
on  the  coast  in  25  degrees  thirty  minutes;  founded 
by  Father  Salva  Tierra,  October,  1697.  This  was 
the  capital  of  the  country.  Missionary  in  charge 
at  that  date,  Father  Gaspar  de  Truxillo.  The  num- 
ber of  Christians,  including  soldiers,  sailors,  etc., 
was  more  than  four  hundred. 

II.  The  mission  of  St.  Francis  Xavier;  founded 
by  Father  F.  Piccolo,  1699.  Villages— St.  Zavier, 
in  25  degrees  30  minutes;  St.  Rose,  seven  leagues 
W.;  St.  Michael,  eight  leagues  N. ;  Augustine,  eight 
leagues  S.E.;  Dolores,  two  leagues  E.;  St.  Paul, 
eight  leagues  N.  W.  Missionary,  Father  Michael 
Barco.     Population,  480. 

III.  Our  Lady  of  Dolores;  founded  by  Father 
Tierra,  1699.  Villages — Our  Lady  of  Dolores,  24 
degrees  30  minutes  ;  Conception  ;  Incarnation  ; 
Trinity;  Redemption;  Resurrection.  Missionary, 
Father  C.  Guillen.     Population,  450. 

IV.  St.  Louis  of  Gonzaga;  founded  by  Father 
John  Ugarte.  Villages— St.  Louis  of  Gonzaga,  25 
degrees;  St.  John  of  Nepomucene;  St.  Mary 
Magdalen.  Missionary,  Father  L.  Hotel.  Pop- 
ulation, 310. 

V.  St.  Joseph  of  Comandu;  founded  by  Father 
Mayorga,  1708 ;  without  a  missionary  at  that  date, 
on  account  of  the  death  of  Father  "Wagner,  1744. 
Villages, — 1.  St.  Joseph,  26  degrees;  2.  One 
league  W.;  3.  Seven  leagues  N. ;  4.  Ten  leagues 
E.    Population,  360. 


VI.  St.  Rose  of  Mulege;  founded  by  Father 
Basualda,  1705.  Villages  — St.  Rose,  26  de- 
grees, 50  minutes;  Holy  Trinity,  six  leagues  S.  S. 
E.;  St.  Mark,  eight  leagues  1ST.  Missionary,  Father 
Peter  Mary  Nascimben.     Population,  300. 

VII.  Immaculate  Conception;  founded  by  Fa- 
ther Nicolas  Tamaral,  in  1718.  Villages — six. 
Missionary,  Father  Druet.     Population,  330. 

VIII.  Our  Lady  of  Guadalupe;  founded  by 
Father  John  Ugarte  and  Father  Everard  Helen, 
1721.  Villages— Our  Lady  of  Guadalupe,  in 
27  degrees;  Conception,  six  leagues  S.;  St.  Mi- 
chael, six  leagues  S.  E.;  Sts.  Peter  and  Paul, 
eight  leagues  E.;  St.  Mary,  five  leagues  N".  Mis- 
sionary, Father  Casteige.     Population,  530. 

IX.  St.  Ignatius;  founded  by  Father  Luyando, 
1728.  Villages — St.  Ignatius,  in  28  degrees;  St. 
Borgia,  eight  leagues  distant;  St.  Joaquin,  three 
leagues  distant;  St.  Sabas,  three  leagues  distant; 
St.  Athanasius,  five  leagues  distant;  St.  Monica, 
seven  leagues  distant;  St.  Martha,  seven  leagues 
distant;  St.  Lucay,  ten  leagues  distant;  St.  Nymfa, 
five  leagues  distant.  Missionary,  Father  Sebastian 
de  Sestiago.     Population,   650. 

X.  Our  Lady  of  Dolores  of  the  North.  This 
mission  was  connected  with  that  of  St.  Ignatius, 
and  attended  byJFathers  Sestiago  and  Consag.  It 
was  situated  in  the  29th  degree  of  latitude,  and 
comprised  a  district  of  some  thirty  leagues.  Pop- 
ulation, 548. 

376  HISTORY    OF    THE 

XT.  St.  Mary  Magdalen;  established  by  Father 
Consag.  Population  not  given. 

XII.  St.  James.  Villages — Three;  missionary, 
Father  Tempis.  Population,  350. 

XIII.  All  Saints;  founded  about  1737.  Popu- 
lation, 90. 

XIV.  St.  Francis  Borgia.  Population,  1500. 

XV.  St.  Gertrude.  Population,  1000. 

XVI.  St.  Mary.  Population,  330. 

Total  number  of  Christians  in  all  the  missions, 

"While  negotiations  were  being  carried  on  with 
the  Court  of  Madrid,  for  the  conversion  of  the 
northern  tribes  on  the  opposite  side  of  the  gulf, 
the  southern  missions  were  visited  by  Heaven  with 
a  terrible  chastisement,  in  punishment,  it  would 
seem,  for  the  crimes  of  the  people  during  the  time 
of  revolt.  New  and  irremediable  distempers  broke 
out  in  the  community,  to  which  thousands  fell  vic- 
tims. So  great  were  the  numbers  that  died  from 
those  various  diseases,  from  the  year  1742  to  1748, 
that  hardly  a  sixth  of  the  whole  population  sur- 
vived. The  labors  of  the  missionaries  during  those 
calamitous  years,  were  proportionately  great.  The 
general  spread  of  the  disease,  and  its  continuance 
in  the  country,  constantly  demanded  their  presence 
in  almost  every  quarter.  Their  anxiety  was  not 
even  confined  to  the  due  discharge  of  their  spirit- 
ual functions,  for,  at  such  a  time,  the  corporeal 
as   well   as   the   spiritual   wants  of  the  sufferers 


called  for  relief.  In  such  a  continuous  struggle 
with  death  and  disease,  it  is  not  to  be  regarded  as 
strange,  that  their  overtaxed  energies  should  have 
succumbed  to  the  difficulties  by  which  they  were 
surrounded.  Hence  the  ravages  death  began  to 
make  in  their  numbers.  Two  years  after  the  ap- 
pearance of  the  disease,  Father  Bravo  fell  a  vic- 
tim to  his  charitable  endeavors.  He  was  one  of 
the  oldest  and  most  efficient  of  the  body.  On 
coming  to  the  country,  he  was  only  a  lay-brother; 
but,  on  account  of  his  remarkable  merits,  and  the 
great  want  of  missionary  hands,  he  was  subse- 
quently raised  to  the  priesthood.  He  arrived  in 
California  in  1705,  in  company  with  Father  Salva 
Tierra,  and  had,  consequently  labored  for  the  mis- 
sions at  the  time  of  his  death  nineteen  years ;  during 
eight  of  which  he  governed  the  mission  of  La  Paz. 
Father  Bravo' s  death  was  followed  by  that  of 
Father  Anthony  Tempis,  who,  as  we  have  seen, 
was  charged  with  the  restoration  of  the  mission  of 
Santiago,  destroyed  by  the  Pericues.  At  the  time 
of  his  demise  the  mission  was  in  a  better  and  more 
prosperous  condition  than  before  its  destruction. 
His  persevering,  apostolic  exertions  succeeded  re- 
markably in  conciliating  the  people  and  winning 
them  back  to  a  virtuous  life.  Impressed  with  the 
great  importance  and  necessity  of  early  instruc- 
tion, he  took  every  means  of  teaching  the  young, 
and  of  instilling  into  their  minds  sentiments  of 
piety  and  virtue.     He  had  them  constantly  with 

378  HISTORY    OF    THE 

him,  corrected  their  faults,  strengthened  their 
weaknesses,  supported  their  failings,  and  in  every 
manner  as  the  most  tender  of  parents  endeavored, 
both  by  word  and  example,  to  impress  upon  their 
minds  lessons  of  holiness  and  sanctity.  His  affec- 
tion for  the  young  was  no  greater  than  his  care  of 
the  infirm.  In  the  epidemic,  of  which  I  have 
spoken,  and  to  which  so  many  fell  victims,  his 
charity  was  more  than  remarkable.  When  unable 
to  walk,  whenever  duty  demanded  his  presence, 
he  would  have  himself  carried  through  the  moun- 
tains to  the  sufferers,  his  continual  expression  be- 
ing that  of  the  Society:  "All  for  the  greater  glory 
of  God."  In  fine,  after  a  most  holy  and  apostolic 
career,  he  died  in  the  odor  of  sanctity  at  the  mis- 
sion of  Santiago  in  1746 — a  victim  to  his  zeal  and 
unwearied  exertions  in  behalf  of  the  poor. 

The  following  year  the  missions  suffered  an 
equally  irreparable  loss  in  the  departure  for  Mex- 
ico, at  the  command  of  authority,  of  Father  Sebas- 
tian Sestiago.  One  by  one  the  great  lights  were 
passing  away — either  sinking  into  the  grave  or  ne- 
cessitated to  abandon  the  field  of  their  labors  by 
reason  of  infirmity.  Father  Sestiago,  who  was  of 
Mexican  extraction,  was  born  at  Tepustucula  in 
1084.  He  entered  the  Society  when  young,  and 
gained  the  general  esteem  of  his  companions,  as 
well  by  his  virtue  as  by  his  ability.  While  pro- 
fessor of  belles-lettres  he  was  appointed  to  the 
California!!  mission,    whither  he  immediately  re- 


paired.  During  the  twenty-nine  years  he  lived  in 
the  country  he  propagated  religion  across  the 
whole  of  the  peninsula.  Frequently  he  would 
sally  forth  into  the  mountains  in  quest  of  the  sav- 
ages, having  only  for  his  support  a  little  corn  in  a 
sack.  There,  deprived  of  the  ordinary  comforts 
of  life,  he  would  remain  preaching  and  catechizing 
till  his  presence  was  demanded  elsewhere.  What 
he  suffered  on  those  occasions,  having  to  accom- 
modate himself  to  the  barbarous  life  of  the  people 
— exposed  to  the  inclemency  of  the  season — can 
be  hardly  conceived.  It  was  thus  he  learned  to  dis- 
pense with  the  use  of  a  bed  (a  luxury  he  never  al- 
lowed himself  toward  the  end  of  his  days),  for  hav- 
ing to  lead  the  same  life  as  the  people,  he  was 
obliged  to  sleep  on  the  ground.  He  always  slept 
in  his  clothes,  and  rose  ordinarily  two  hours  before 
day,  in  order  to  occupy  himself  in  prayer  and  pre- 
paration for  the  holy  sacrifice  of  the  Mass.  At 
times  while  making  excursions  through  the  woods 
in  company  with  his  neophytes,  he  would  cry  out  in 
a  transport  of  zeal:  "Come — oh!  come  all  to  the 
faith  of  Jesus  Christ;  oh  !  who  will  make  them  all 
Christians  and  conduct  them  to  Heaven  !"  So  lit- 
tle was  his  heart  attached  to  temporal  things,  that 
on  an  occasion  when  his  people  presented  him 
with  some  pearls  they  had  picked  up  on  the  shore 
after  a  storm,  he  ordered  them  to  go  and  throw 
them  back  into  the  sea !     At  last,  worn  out  by  in- 

380  HISTORY   OF    THE 

firmities  and  tormented  by  scruples  to  which  he 
became  an  involuntary  prey,  he  was  temporarily 
ordered  to  Mexico,  where  he  departed  this  life  in 
most  eminent  sanctity,  on  the  22d  of  June,  1756. 



Death  of  Father  Guillen. — Death  of  Don  Rodriguez  Lorenzo. 
—  Progress  of  the  Missions.  —  Conversions  by  Father  Retz. — 
His  Death. — Attempt  of  the  Gentiles  to  destroy  the  South- 
ern Missions. —  Death  of  Father  Neumayer.  —  Silver  Mines 
opened  in  the  Country. — Evil  Counsel  of  the  Spaniards. — 
Discontent  of  the  Converts.  —  Decrease  in  the  Female  Popu- 
lation. —  Dangers  threatening  the  Society  in  Europe.  —  Un- 

The  year  following  the  departure  of  Father  Ses- 
tiago,  the  mission  was  deprived  by  death  of  the 
presence  of  Father  Guillen,  who  had  acted  for 
some  time  as  Provincial  of  the  Society  in  Califor- 
nia. This  missionary's  career  extended  over  a 
period  of  four-and-twenty  years;  during  which, 
his  life  was  admittedly  a  model  of  ^every  virtue. 
It  was  to  him  that  the  Mission  of  Dolores,  in  the 
country  of  the  Guacuros,  owed  its  existence ;  and 
his  success  may  be  learned  from  the  fact  that  by 
his  individual  exertions  he  converted  the  greater 
part  of  that  barbarous  people.  A  single  example 
will  suffice  to  illustrate  his  zeal  for  the  salvation  of 
the  gentiles. 

Shortly  prior  to  his  death  there  happened  to  ar- 
rive at  the  mission,  from  a  distant  part  of  the 
country  a  gentile  woman  considerably  advanced 
in  jrears.  As  no  one  in  the  vicinity  understood  a 
word  of  her  language,  it  was  found  impossible  to 

382  HISTORY    OF    THE 

properly  instruct  her  in  the  principles  of  religion. 
That,  however,  an  opportunity  might  be  afforded 
her  of  embracing  the  truth,  Father  Guillen,  with 
the  weight  of  years  already  pressing  heavily  upon 
him  (being  then  seventy  or  more),  undertook  to 
learn  her  language.  He  did  not,  indeed,  succeed 
in  his  purpose,  for  he  was  overtaken  by  death 
while  engaged  in  his  charitable  work;  but,  if  he 
did  not  gain  the  soul  of  the  poor  creature  to  Christ, 
he  has  left  upon  record  one  of  the  noblest  and  most 
praiseworthy  deeds  to  be  met  with  in  the  history 
of  missionary  life.   * 

During  those  calamitous  years,  while  death  was 
so  rife  among  the  missionary  body,  it  was  not  to 
be  expected  that  the  Government  officers  would 
escape  without  loss.  The  same  year  that  witnessed 
the  death  of  Father  Tempis,  saw  also  the  last  mo- 
ments of  Don  Rodriguez  Lorenzo,  who  for  sev- 
eral years  had  held  the  post  of  Captain  and  Gov- 
ernor of  the  country.  This  was  by  no  means  an 
unimportant  event  in  the  history  of  the  missions; 
for,  by  his  ability,  prudence  and  zeal,  this  venera- 
ble Catholic  had  contributed  much  to  the  inter- 
ests of  religion.  Indeed,  it  was  to  him  that  the 
Fathers  were  indebted  for  a  large  share  of  the  suc- 
cess they  attained  in  the  country.  Wherever  a 
new  mission  was  to  be  established,  he  invariably 
attended  in  person,  accompanied  by  his  men;  and 
this  not  merely  with  the  view  of  defending  the 
Religious  against  the  attacks  of  the  savages,  but 


to  aid  in  making  the  roads  and  erecting  the  build- 
ings. Though  Captain  and  Governor,  he  was  first 
in  every  laborious  employment;  in  order  that  by 
his  example,  the  soldiers  and  Indians  might  be 
encouraged  to  labor.  His  morals  were  as  pure  as 
his  example  was  attractive.  Daily  he  assisted  at 
the  holy  sacrifice  of  the  Mass,  and  the  other  ex- 
ercises of  the  missions.  Duty  never  found  him 
for  a  moment  absent  from  his  post.  In  fine,  after 
a  life  remarkable  for  several  virtues,  he  died  on 
the  first  of  November,  1746,  at  the  ripe  old  age 
of  four  score  years.  He  was  succeeded  by  his  son, 
Bernard,  who  inherited  all  his  remarkable  quali- 
ties, both  civil  and  religious. 

The  very  severe  and,  indeed,  in  some  instances, 
apparently  irreparable  losses  to  the  missions  of  the 
above-mentioned  persons,  was  not  suffered  by  Di- 
vine Providence  to  interfere  with  the  progress  of 
religion  in  the  country.  On  the  retirement  of 
Father  Sestiago  from  the  Mission  of  St.'  Ignatius, 
in  1747,  Father  Consag  took  charge  of  that  place, 
and  labored  with  such  profit,  that  in  the  space  of 
four  years,  he  had  converted,  in  the  vicinity  of 
the  mission,  five  hundred  and  forty-eight  of  the 
gentiles — a  work  of  no  ordinary  moment,  when 
we  consider  the  constant  call  upon  his  labors  by 
the  converted  during  those  calamitous  times.  A 
sufficient  number  of  converts  being  thus  formed, 
it  was  desirable  they  should  be  gathered  together, 
and  a  mission  established  for  their  special  advan- 

384  HISTORY    OF    THE 

tage.  With  this  object  in  view,  Father  Consag  set 
out  from  St.  Ignatius,  in  1751,  in  order  to  deter- 
mine a  locality  proper  for  the  new  mission.  He 
was  accompanied  by  the  Governor,  an  escort,  and 
some  neophytes.  After  traveling  a  considerable 
distance  without  meeting  with  the  object  of  their 
search,  they  at  last  chanced  upon  a  path  which, 
when  followed,  brought  them  to  a  point  where 
their  attention  was  arrested  on  seeing  a  number  of 
arrows  pierced  through  a  branch.  This  they  un- 
derstood as  an  intimation  on  the  part  of  the  sav- 
ages that  any  one  daring  to  pass  by  that  way 
would  be  similarly  treated.  But,  as  the  escort  was 
strong,  they  continued  their  journey  till  they  came 
up  with  the  Indians,  who,  instead  of  being  hostile, 
received  them  as  friends.  The  people  were,  how- 
ever, very  much  alarmed  on  beholding  the  horses, 
never  having  seen  such  in  their  lives.  The  object 
of  the  expedition  was  now  fully  attained.  Here 
was  a  place  with  all  the  requirements  proper  for 
a  new  settlement — a  fertile  valley,  abundant  water, 
and  friendly  Indians.  Before  returning,  the  Fa- 
ther administered  baptism  to  the  little  ones  dan- 
gerously ill,  and,  as  some  of  them  died  shortly 
after,  he  had  the  consolation  of  knowing  that  even 
so  far  his  journey  was  not  without  profit. 

On  returning  to  St.  Ignatius,  Father  Consag 
immediately  set  about  dispatching  a  number  of 
workmen  for  the  erection  of  the  necessary  build- 
ings.     These    being  completed,  the  mission  was 


entrusted  to  the  Rev.  Father  Retz,  an  Austrian, 
who  took  possession  of  it  in  the  Summer  of  1752. 
According  to  an  old  established  custom,  by  which  all 
the  missionaries  were  expected  to  contribute  some- 
thing to  every  newly-established  settlement,  each 
of  the  Fathers  bestowed  on  his  brother  Religious 
the  little  his  limited  means  would  permit*  These 
offerings  were  chiefly  of  corn  and  cattle.  In  this 
manner  the  first  wants  of  the  people  were  supplied 
and  the  interests  of  religion  subserved.  The  mis- 
sion commenced  under  the  most  favorable  auspices ; 
for  it  numbered  from  the  outset  about  six  hun- 
dred converts,  collected  from  different  parts.  To 
these  others  were  speedily  added,  for  as  soon 
as  the  newly-made  Christians  informed  their 
brethren  of  the  character  of  the  religion,  the  ne- 
cessity of  baptism  and  the  kindness  of  the  Father, 
the  people  began  to  flock  to  the  place,  and 
what  was  at  first  only  a  mere  curiosity,  ended  at 
length  in  conversion  to  the  faith.  Thus  in  a  few 
years  Father  Retz  found  himself  at  the  head  of  a 
congregation  of  fourteen  hundred  Christians. 
Every  convert,  on  being  received  into  the  Church, 
received  from  the  Father  a  little  crucifix,  which  he 
was  expected  to  wear  on  his  neck  that  he  might 
be  constantly  reminded  of  his  faith,  and  the  inval- 
uable blessings  of  the  work  of  redemption. 

Shortly  after  the  establishment  of  this  mission 
a  camp  was  formed  at  a  short  distance  on  account 

of  the  great  abundance  of  water.    Here  the  Father 

386  HISTORY    OF    THE 

took  care  to  produce  the  necessary  supplies  for 
his  people — the  plantation  of  a  vineyard  and  fruit- 
trees   being   amongst  his   earliest  cares.     Before 
long  he  had  an  abundant  supply  of  maize,  wheat 
and  garden  productions  for  his  flock.     His  method 
of  making   and   preserving  the   wine   deserves  a 
passing  notice.     The  construction  of  barrels  being 
under  the  circumstances   entirely  impossible,   he 
resorted  to   the   ingenious  method    of  hollowing 
great  masses  of  rock,  in  which   he   fermented  and 
preserved  the  precious  liquor.    The  rapid  increase 
of  the  faithful  suggested  the  importance  of  form- 
ing another  little  settlement,  but  before  carrying 
out  this  benevolent  purpose  death  summoned  him 
to  his  heavenly  reward.     He  died  in  the  month  of 
September,    1759,   at  the  age   of  fifty-six  years, 
seven-and- twenty  of  which  he  spent  for  the  benefit 
of  the  people.     By  birth,  as  we  have  said,  he  was 
Austrian,  and  arrived  in  California  in  1732.     It  is 
difficult,  says  his  biographer,  to  estimate   the  ex- 
traordinary efforts  he  made  for  the  establishment 
of  the  faith.     Though  laboring  under  a  constitu- 
tional weakness,  he  was  constantly  on   the  alert 
seeking  new  places  for  the  establishment  of  addi- 
tional missions ;  preaching  the  gospel  to  the  gen- 
tiles, or  instructing  his  own.     When,  on  his  jour- 
neys, necessity  compelled  him  to  halt  in  order  to 
refresh  his  companions,  he  invariably,   unmindful 
of  his  own  toil  and  weariness  of  body,  betook  him- 
self to  prayer,   and   sought  refreshment  in   com- 


munion  with  his  God.  Indeed,  it  is  impossible, 
on  reading  the  lives  of  such  men,  not  to  be  struck 
with  the  remarkable  likeness  they  bear  to  the 
most  eminent  saints  of  the  Church.  Dead  to  the 
world,  to  society,  to  themselves  and  everything 
human,  they  seem  to  have  been  animated  with 
only  one  ardent  desire,  that  of  propagating  the 
kingdom  of  God  amongst  men.  To  this  end  they 
labored,  they  toiled,  prayed,  preached  and  con- 
formed to  the  miserable  life  of  the  people.  Un- 
der such  circumstances  it  is  not  to  be  wondered 
that  a  country,  hallowed  by  the  foot-prints  of  such 
men,  should  have  turned  from  paganism  and  bar- 
barism to  Christianity  and  civilization. 

The  death  of  Father  Consag  prevented  for  the 
time  the  establishment  of  the  newly-projected 
mission,  for  the  Religious  destined  for  that  pur- 
pose had  to  continue  where  he  was.  Mean- 
time, everything  was  done  to  facilitate  its  future 
establishment.  A  road  of  communication  was 
formed  between  it  and  the  last  mentioned  mission; 
a  church,  barracks  and  a  presbytery  constructed, 
the  people  further  enlightened,  and  nothing  save 
the  appointment  of  the  missionary  himself  left  un- 
accomplished. Nor  was  the  presence  of  the  Father 
delayed  very  long;  for  Father  Wenceslaus  Link, 
a  native  of  Bohemia,  having  arrived  in  the  country 
at  this  time,  was  sent  to  take  charge  of  the  place. 
He  found  on  arrival  three  hundred  Indians,  con- 
verts of  the  late  Father  Retz;  to  these  others  were 

388  HISTORY    OF    THE 

speedily  added  by  himself,  the  numbers  continuing 
to  increase  till  after  a  time  it  was  found  necessary 
to  enlarge  the  little  church. 

While  congratulating  himself  on  the  success  of 
his  labors,  the  enemy  of  mankind  was  plotting  the 
destruction  of  his  work.     The  more  evil-disposed 
of  the  gentiles  living  at  a  distance,  seeing  that 
numbers  were  constantly  repairing  to  the  Father 
and   enrolling   themselves   among  the  believers, 
took  umbrage  at  this  encroachment  on  their  faith; 
and  in  order  the  more  effectually  to  prevent  its 
continuance,   determined,  by  a  general  massacre, 
to    destroy   every  vestige  of  Christianity  in  that 
part  of  the  peninsula.   News  of  the  intended  revolt 
happening  by  some  means  to  reach  the  ears  of  the 
Christians,  it  was  determined  to  give  the  savages 
such  a  lesson   that  they  would  not  readily  enter- 
tain so  bloody  a  purpose;  and  it  was  even  deemed 
proper  not  to  await  the  approach  of  the  enemy, 
but  to  go  forth   and   encounter  him   on  his  own 
ground.     The  forces  of  the  two  missions  which 
were   to  be  the  object  of  the  attack  were  accord- 
ingly marshaled,  and  on  marching  into  the  enemy's 
territory,  fortunately  surprised  and  captured  him 
without  striking  a  blow.     The  prisoners  were  con- 
ducted to  the  mission,  where  they  were  incarcer- 
ated for  some  days,  and  then  set  at  liberty.     The 
leaders,  however,  received  a  fuller  measure  of  jus- 
tice, for  before   being  granted  their  liberty  they 
received  a  certain    number  of  lashes.     Thus  the 


incipient  rebellion  was  quelled,  and  a  result  never 
contemplated  by  the  people  attained;  for,  affected 
at  what  they  had  seen  at  the  mission,  these  very 
barbarians,  as  in  the  case  of  those  who  attacked 
the  Christians  under  the  care  of  Father  Laymundo, 
requested  to  be  enrolled  among  the  believers,  a 
favor  which  was  granted  them  after  the  sincerity 
of  their  request  has  been  sufficiently  proved. 

Two  years  after  the  foundation  of  the  last  men- 
tioned mission,  dedicated  to  the  great  St.  Francis 
Borgia,  another  of  the  old  pioneer  missionaries, 
Father  Charles  Neumayer,  departed  this  life  at  All 
Saints.  Father  Neumayer's  career  in  California 
extended  over  a  period  of  twenty  years,  during 
which,  like  his  brethren,  he  was  remarkable  for 
great  zeal  and  holiness  of  life.  His  character  seems 
to  have  been  to  accommodate  himself  to  every  cir- 
cumstance, the  better  to  gain  the  affections  of  all, 
and  thereby  promote  more  securely  the  interest  of 
his  heavenly  Master.  In  the  fields,  he  labored  in 
company  with  the  cultivators  of  the  soil.  On  sea, 
he  took  his  net  and  assisted  the  fishermen.  At 
home,  he  was  an  architect,  a  carpenter,  a  black- 
smith, or  whatever  else  the  circumstances  de- 
manded. The  wonderful  providence  of  God, 
which  overruleth  and  disposeth  all  things  according 
to  appointment,  never  failed  to  provide  for  the 
pressing  wants  of  the  missions.  Whenever  death 
removed  any  of  the  Fathers,  others  were  found 
ready  to  step  into  their  place.    Two  months  before 

390  HISTORY    OF    THE 

the  death  of  the  above-mentioned  Father,  two 
other  Religious,  Fathers  Franco  and  Ames  arrived 
in  the  country. 

We  now  approach  a  perilous  period  in  the  his- 
tory of  the  Californian  missions,  when  the  conduct 
of  the  Spanish  inhabitants  began  to  prove  the 
most  serious  embarrassment  to  the  Fathers.  Hith- 
erto the  missionaries  had  to  contend,  as  we  have 
seen,  against  the  coldness,  neglect  and  indiffer- 
ence of  government,  the  inhospitable  nature  of 
the  country,  and  the  evil  dispositions  of  the  peo- 
ple. Now  an  additional,  and  in  some  measure 
more  formidable,  obstacle  was  thrown  in  their 
way,  by  the  evil  example  and  pernicious  advice  of 
the  Spanish  inhabitants.  While  the  missions  were 
successfully  progressing  through  the  country,  Don 
Manuel  de  Ocio,  an  enterprising  Spaniard,  entered 
upon  a  mining  speculation  in  the  southern  part  of 
the  peninsula,  in  the  country  of  the  Pericues.  For 
the  accomplishment  of  his  object,  miners  were  im- 
ported from  New  Spain ;  but,  unhappily,  their 
lives  were  not  a  model  for  Christians  to  follow. 
Demoralization,  debauchery,  and  neglect  of  reli- 
gion followed  as  natural  consequences.  Their 
advice  was  even  more  pernicious  than  their  morals. 
Hostile  to  the  system  established  by  the  Fathers, 
they  everywhere  disturbed  the  peace  and  tran- 
quillity of  the  Christian  congregations,  by  telling 
them  that  the  Mexican  Indians  were  entirely  in- 
dependent of  the  Religious;  that  they  paid  tribute 


to  none  but  the  monarch ;  possessed  their  own 
lands  free  from  control,  and  were  in  all  things  in- 
dependent to  act  as  they  pleased,  provided  only 
they  attended  the  services  of  the  church.  The 
consequence  of  these  unseasonable  suggestions  was 
that  the  newly-converted  Indians,  so  unfit  to  pro- 
vide for  their  own  natural  wants,  unless  directed  by 
authority,  immediately  demanded  that  the  lands 
be  handed  over  to  their  charge,  that  they  might  be 
at  liberty  to  dispose  of  them  as  they  pleased.  They 
further  required  that  the  vessels  belonging  to  the 
mission  be  put  at  their  disposal,  that  they  might 
be  able  to  go  whithersoever  they  chose.  To 
some  their  demands  may  appear  only  reasonable, 
but  when  it  is  remembered  that  this  people,  only 
recently  reclaimed  from  a  savage,  indolent  life, 
ahhorred  every  manner  of  labor,  and  never  took 
thought  for  the  future,  the  matter  assumes  a  dif- 
ferent aspect  in  our  eyes.  To  hand  over  the  lands 
to  them  at  such  a  time,  while  their  habits  were 
only  yet  partially  forinecl,  would  be  to  consign 
them  to  certain  neglect,  and  to  fail  in  making  the 
necessary  provision  for  the  future. 

As  regarded  the  restriction  laid  on  their  liberty, 
they  were  in  a  better  position  under  the  rule  of 
the  Fathers  than  in  their  savage  condition;  for, 
while  gentile,  they  were  prohibited  entering  each 
other's  dominions  on  account  of  the  hereditary 
feuds  that  existed  between  them,  whereas,  on  be- 
coming Christians,  they  could  pass  from  one  sec- 

392  HISTORY    OF    THE 

tion  of  the  country  to  the  other  at  the  will  of  the 
missionaries.  Had  the  Fathers  readily  complied 
with  their  desires  the  loss  would  not,  indeed,  have 
been  theirs,  but  the  people's. 

Another  cause  of  considerable  discontent  was 
the  remarkable  decrease  in  the  female  community. 
To  what  this  is  to  be  attributed  it  might  be  diffi- 
cult to  say,  yet  it  is  none  the  less  certain,  that 
while  polygamy  existed,  the  female  population  was 
considerably  greater  than  the  male,1  whereas,  on 
the  introduction  of  Christianity,  nine  tenths  of  the 
people  in  some  of  the  missions  were  males.  As  it 
is  not  stated  by  any  author  whether  the  number 
of  births  was  unequal,  perhaps  the  key  to  the  solu- 
tion of  the  difficulty  may  be  found  in  the  numer- 
ous disorders  which  at  that  period  prevailed  in 
the  country,  and  to  which  the  female  community 
may  have  the  more  readily  succumbed  as  being 
the  weaker. 

The  ill-disposed,  turbulent  Christians,  seeing 
that  the  Fathers  were  unwilling  to  accede  to  their 
petition,  assembled  in  council,  and  petitioned  the 
Mexican  government  to  banish  the  Religious  from 
the  country,  and  put  in  their  stead  government 
officials,  to  whom  they  would  pay  tribute  for  his 
Majesty.  The  pretensions  set  forth  in  the  peti- 
tion were  the  extreme  of  extravagance.  Men  who 
were  unable  to  provide  for  themselves  'could  not 
be  reasonably  expected  to  pay  tribute  to  a  gov- 

(1)     See  Clavigero's  Life. 


ernment.  In  order  to  carry  their  complaint  be- 
fore the  proper  authorities,  twenty  of  the  conspir- 
ators seized  upon  the  vessel  of  the  mission  and 
set  sail  for  Mexican  waters.  On  reaching  the  op- 
posite coast  they  altered  their  purpose  at  the  en- 
treaty of  the  missionary  Father  at  that  port, 
and  returned  to  California.  Their  minds,  how- 
ever, being  unsettled,  another  attempt  was  made 
by  them  a  little  later  on,  but  with  equal  success, 
after  which  they  abandoned  their  foolish  preten- 
sions, and  reconciled  themselves  to  the  existing 
state  of  affairs. 

At  this  time  the  Provincial  of  the  Fathers'  So- 
ciety at  Mexico — Father  Francis  Cevallas — offered 
the  Viceroy  to  renounce  all  the  Californian  mis- 
sions, and  those  of  New  Spain,  in  order  that  the 
missionaries  might  be  employed  to  greater  ad- 
vantage among  the  gentiles  of  the  north.  As  the 
matter  was  one  of  the  greatest  importance  the 
Governor  was  unwilling  to  act  of  himself,  but  con- 
sulted his  council,  by  which  it  was  determined 
that  the  matter  should  be  referred  to  the  Bishops 
and  their  opinion  demanded.  An  answer  in  the 
negative  having  been  received  the  offer  was  de- 
clined. The  singleness  of  purpose  manifested  in 
this  cannot  be  too  highly  extolled.  These  vener- 
able men,  after  toiling  for  near  three  quarters  of 
a  century,  were  now  ready,  after  having  brought 
the  people  to  a  tolerable  degree  of  civilization,  to 
resign  their  advantages  in  favor  of  less  self-sacrific- 

394  HISTORY   OF   THE 

ing  ministers  of  religion,  and  to  go  forth  to  do  bat- 
tle anew  against  paganism,  idolatry  and  barbar- 
ism in  the  hitherto  unexplored  regions  of  the 
north.  This  generous  offer  was  followed  by  an- 
other equally  worthy  of  record.  In  1767,  the 
year  before  the  expulsion  of  the  Fathers,  a  wealthy 
Mexican  Lady,  Donna  Josepha  de  Arguellas,  do- 
nated to  the  mission  property  to  the  amount  of 
six  hundred  thousand  dollars.  The  due  applica- 
tion of  this  would  doubtless  have  advanced  the 
state  of  religion  considerably,  but  the  Fathers,  un- 
willing to  give  the  enemies  of  the  Society  any 
grounds  for  reproach,  generously  came  to  the  con- 
clusion of  renouncing  the  whole  in  favor  of  Gov- 

The  time  was  now  near  at  hand  when  their 
labors  were  to  draw  to  a  close  in  the  Cal- 
if ornian  missions,  after  a  remarkably  successful 
career  of  seventy  years.  For  a  considerable  time 
a  triple  alliance  had  been  formed  in  Europe  against 
the  Society  of  which  they  were  members.  Jansen- 
ism, Protestantism  and  Infidelity,  had  joined  in 
their  efforts  to  accomplish  their  ruin.  On  the  ac- 
cession to  the  Portuguese  throne  of  Joseph  I.,  Don 
Sebastian  Carvallo,  Count  of  Oeyras,  and  after- 
wards Marquis  of  Pombal,  was  raised  to  the  posi- 
tion of  first  minister  of  the  crown  by  the  influence 
of  Father  Joseph  Moreira,  who  unhappily  mistook 
the  character  of  the  man.  From  that  moment  the 
destruction  of  the  Society  within  the  limits  of  the 


Portuguese  kingdom  was  a  matter  of  certainty. 
Its  accomplishment  was  only  a  matter  of  time  and 
detail.  Pombal's  design  from  the  outset  was  even 
larger  than  the  ruin  of  the  Jesuit  body.  He  con- 
templated the  entire  destruction  of  Catholicity  in 
the  country.  This  he  hoped  to  effect  by  placing 
a  member  of  the  Protestant  religion  on  the  throne 
— a  scheme,  for  the  realization  of  which,  he  look- 
ed for  success  by  forming  a  marriage  alliance  be- 
tween the  Princess  of  Berry  and  the  representative 
of  the  dukedom  of  Cumberland.  In  this  he  had 
naturally  to  expect  much  opposition  at  the  hands 
of  the  Jesuit  Fathers,  then  highly  in  favor  with 
royalty.  Hence  the  necessity  in  the  first  instance 
of  removing  the  Religious  from  the  precincts  of  the 
court.  This  done,  the  unscrupulous  minister 
would  be  able  to  manage,  according  to  pleasure, 
the  naturally  weak-minded,  indolent  monarch  by 
flattering  his  inclination  and  passions.  But  as  the 
matter  was  one  of  greatest  importance  it  was  ne- 
cessary to  proceed  with  much  caution.  Suspi- 
cions were  first  to  be  created  in  his  Majesty's  breast 
regarding  the  loyalty  of  the  Fathers,  a  matter 
which  was  to  be  effected  by  imputing  sinister  de- 
signs to  their  conduct.  Then  all  the  charges  and 
crimes,  no  matter  how  atrocious  and  unscrupulous, 
which  the  libertinism,  infidelity  and  heresy  of  the 
period  had  made  against  the  Society,  were  to  be 
brought  under  his  notice,  all  of  which  was  to  be 
guarded  by  the  king  with  the  most  scrupulous 

396  HISTORY    OF    THE 

The  plan  succeeded  remarkably,  according  to  the 
desire  of  the  author.  Don  Pedro,  the  king's 
brother,  who  was  then  popular  with  all  classes  of 
the  community,  was  seeking  to  ingratiate  himself 
into  the  affections  of  the  people,  with  the  view  of 
supplanting  his  brother.  In  this  he  was  aided  by 
the  members  of  the  Society,  whose  influence  with 
all  classes  was  no  secret  to  any.  A  little  more 
and  the  monarch  would  be  deprived  of  his  throne. 
Such  were  the  unblushing  and  audacious  assertions 
of  the  unscrupulous  minister;  and,  unfortunately 
for  justice  and  humanity,  they  found  favor  with 
the  king.  To  back  up  and  confirm  the  calumnious 
charges,  all  the  accusations  that  free-thinkers,  lib- 
ertines and  heretics  had  ever  put  into  writing 
against  the  Society  were  laid  before  Joseph,  and 
scattered  broadcast  among  the  people.  The  result 
is  fearful  to  contemplate.  Iniquity  triumphed  for 
the  time.  The  king's  mind  was  embittered  to  a  de- 
gree ;  good  men  were  amazed ;  society  was  taken  by 
surprise;  the  scheme  was  a  success.  Pombal  saw 
his  advantage,  and  that  the  moment  had  arrived 
for  striking  the  first  blow. 

On  the  pretence  of  having  cast  improper  reflec- 
tions on  the  conduct  of  the  minister,  two  of  the 
Religious,  Fathers  Ballister  and  Fonseca  were  ar- 
rested and  banished  the  country.  This  was  to 
prepare  the  way  for  a  fuller  measure  of  injustice, 
which  was  to  be  the  banishment  of  the  entire  body. 
The   terrible   earthquake,  however,  which  visited 


the  country  at  that  moment,  shaking  the  capital  to 
its  foundation,  stayed  for  a  while  the  atrocities  of 
the  Government.  But  it  was  only  for  a  little,  for 
as  soon  as  the  effects  of  the  disaster  began  to  pass 
from  men's  minds,  the  former  iniquitous  proceed- 
ings were  resumed.  New  charges  were  laid  to  the 
count  of  the  Fathers,  but  of  an  entirely  different 
character.  Before  it  was  ambition,  now  it  is  av- 
arice. Some  difficulty  having  been  experienced 
in  the  management  of  the  Paraguayan  dependen- 
cies, the  Fathers  were  charged  with  being  the  au- 
thors of  the  dissension,  with  the  view  of  obtain- 
ing possession  of  the  gold  mines.  One  of  the  So- 
ciety, too,  it  was  audaciously  asserted,  was  made 
Emperor  of  the  country  under  the  title  of  Nicolas 
I. !  A  currency  was  issued  bearing  the  e&igy  of 
the  Jesuit  monarch  !  The  clumsiness  of  this  cal- 
umny was  too  much  for  the  country.  Wise  men 
smiled — wicked  men  laughed ;  while  the  virtuous 
and  upright  treated  it  with  the  scorn  and  contempt 
that  it  merited  ;  yet,  with  all  its  absurdity,  there 
were  those  who,  because  it  originated  at  Court, 
made  it  the  fashion  of  the  hour  and  the  test  of 
good  breeding  to  give  it,  at  least,  an  external  as- 

Meantime,  the  Jesuit  Fathers  continued  at  Court 
as  confessors  to  the  king  and  his  family;  but  Pom- 
bal,  seeing  that  his  artifices  were  likely  to  be  una- 
vailing as  long  as  the  monarch  could  be  approached 
by  the  Religious,  had  all  the  members  of  the  So- 


98  HISTORY    OF    THE 

ciety  attendant  on  Court  banished  from  the  palace, 
on  the  plea  of  conspiring  against  the  State.  At 
the  same  time,  he  removed  from  their  offices  all 
the  secular  officers  opposed  to  his  plans;  handed 
over  the  universities  to  Protestants,  Jansenists 
and  infidel  teachers,  and  isolated  the  king  from  all 
but  those  of  his  part}^. 

While  these  iniquitous  proceedings  were  being 
enacted  at  Lisbon,  the  philosophers  and  free-think- 
ers of  France  were  working  for  a  like  end  at  the 
Court  of  Louis  XV.  Among  other  things,  the  de- 
struction of  the  Parliament,  in  1753,  was  charged 
to  the  Jesuits,  though,  in  reality,  they  had  nothing 
to  do  with  it.  They  were  also  accused  of  influ- 
encing the  queen  and  the  dauphin,  of  ruling  the 
Archbishop  of  Paris  and  the  Bishop  of  Mirepoix; 
but  the  chief  accusation  brought  by  their  enemies, 
was  that  they  had  procured  an  assassin  to  take  the 
life  of  the  monarch.  The  only  proof  that  could 
be  advanced  in  support  of  this  terrible  charge 
was  that  the  man  Damisus,  who  attempted  the 
king's  life,  had  been  formerly  in  the  service  of  the 
Fathers.  But  as  the  same  man  had  been  also  in 
the  service  of  several  members  of  Parliament,  the 
conclusion  would  have  been  equally  logical  had 
they  too  been  accused  of  the  crime.  It  was  not 
necessary,  however,  that  such  a  deduction  should  be 
drawn;  the  Fathers  had  to  be  criminated  and  no- 
body else. 

Pombal,  finding  that  his  calumnies  against  the 


Society  were  not  as  satisfactory  in  their  results  as 
he   desired,   essayed  to  make  use  of  the  powers  of 
the  Church.     With  this  view,  on  the  ground  that 
some  of  the  members  were  applying  themselves  in 
the  Brazils  to  commercial  pursuits,  contrary  to  the 
canons  of  the  Church,  he  applied  to  Benedict  XI V. 
for  a  reformation   of  the  Society.     The  object  of 
this  new  mode  of  proceeding  was  to  obtain  grounds 
for  criminating  the  body ;   for,  by  a  commission 
of  inquiry    to    be     carried   'on    under    the    eyes 
of  the  minister,  the   complicity   of  the   members 
was  certain  to  be  established,  and  thus  a  pretext 
would  be  had  for  banishing  all  from  the  country. 
The    sovereign    Pontiff,     being   then    in    delicate 
health,   allowed  himself  to  be  persuaded,  at  the 
earnest  solicitations  of  the  enemies  of  the  Society, 
to  grant  the  solicited  brief.     It  was  addressed  to 
the  Cardinal  Saldanha,  who  was  named  visitor   of 
the  Houses  in  Portugal,  and  charged  with  its   ex- 
ecution.    Fearing,    shortly  after,  lest  the  inquiry 
might  be  used  for  a  sinister  motive,  and  turned  to 
the  injury  of  the  Society,  the  enfeebled  Pontiff  ad- 
dressed another  brief  to  the  same  Cardinal,  mod- 
ifying the  powers  granted  in  the  first.    In  the  sec- 
ond the  Inquisitor  was  commanded  not  to  proceed 
farther  than  a  private  inquiry,  to  form  no  definite 
conclusion,  but  to  make  a  coscientious  report  to 
the  Pontiff  himself,  to  whom  the  right  of  a  final 
decision  was  reserved.  These  positive  instructions, 
in  a  great  measure,  annulled  the  preceding,  and 

400  HISTORY    OP    THE 

would,  if  attended  to,  have  entirely  defeated  the 
scheme.  Pombal,  therefore,  to  obviate  the  em- 
barrassment, determined  upon  regarding  the  sec- 
ond instructions,  or  brief,  as  the  hallucinations  of  a 
dying  man!  There  was,  however,  another  diffi- 
culty now  in  the  way.  Benedict  XIV.  died  on  the 
3d  of  May,  1758,  and  the  brief,  authorizing  an  ex- 
amination into  the  religious  houses  of  the  Jesuits, 
was  not  yet  forwarded  to  the  Brazils — a  circum- 
stance which  rendered  its  execution  invalid  in  that 
quarter.  For,  by  the  canons  of  the  Church,  all 
briefs  not  executed  prior  to  the  death  of  the  Pope 
are  by  the  fact  of  no  force  in  those  parts  where 
they  had  not  been  previously  executed.  But  as 
the  Brazils  were  exactly  that  part  of  the  kingdom 
where  a  pretext  was  expected  to  be  found  for  in- 
criminating the  Fathers,  the  minister  disregarded 
the  Cardinal's  scruples,  if  ever  he  had  any,  and 
had  a  decree  of  the  Council  drawn  up,  ordering 
the  publication  and  execution  of  the  document  as 
well  in  Brazil  as  in  Portugal.  It  is  true  that  even 
there  no  species  of  commerce,  properly  so  called, 
was  carried  on  by  the  Religious.  There  was,  in- 
deed, an  exchange,  for  the  necessary  commodities 
required  by  the  missionaries;  but  for  this,  permis- 
sion had  been  obtained  from  the  king  and  the  sov- 
ereign Pontiff.  The  pretext,  however,  was  suffi- 
cient, and,  accordingly,  a  mandatory  letter  was  is- 
sued by  the  Cardinal,  declaring  that  the  mission- 
aries were  violating  the  laws  of  the  Church,  and 


engaging  in  commercial  pursuits.  Later  on,  on  the 
7th  of  June  of  the  same  year  (1758),  they  were 
interdicted  by  the  Patriarch  of  Lisbon,  in  the 
whole  of  his  diocese.  Everything  now  seemed  to 
declare  against  the  Society;  the  tide  of  success, 
however,  once  more  turned  in  their  favor.  One 
month  after  their  interdict,  Cardinal  Bezzonico  was 
raised  to  the  Popedom,  under  the  title  of  Clement 
XIII.  The  new  Pope  was  strongly  in  favor  of  the 
Society,  and  determined  at  all  hazards,  to  defend 
it  against  the  wiles  of  its  enemies;  which,  when 
Pombal  came  to  perceive,  he  sought  other  and 
more  effectual  means  for  effecting  his  purpose. 

On  the  third  of  September,  Joseph  I.,  while  re- 
turning from  an  entertainment,  given  by  one  of 
the  principal  noblemen  of  the  kingdom — the  mar- 
quis of  Tavora — was  fired  at  and  slightly  wound- 
ed, it  is  said,  in  the  shoulder.  The  plot,  which 
originated  with  Pombal,  was  made  to  serve  a 
double  purpose.  The  marquis,  having  refused  his 
daughter  in  marriage  to  the  minister,  the  latter 
was  determined  to  be  revenged  on  him;  and  this 
was  the  manner  he  sought  to  accomplish  his  pur- 
pose. Ten  days  lateiythe  marquis  and  his  entire 
family,  with  the  exception  of  the  daughter,  were 
brought  to  the  scaffold ;  and  this  because  that  vir- 
tuous nobleman  refused  to  enter  into  a  married  al- 
liance with  the  iniquitous  Pombal.  The  next  pur- 
pose the  attack  upon  the  king's  life  was  made  to 

subserve,  was  the  ruin  of  the  Jesuits.     As  they 

402  HISTORY   OF   THE 

were  friendly  with  the  Tavoras,  they  were  de- 
clared to  be  accomplices  in  the  act.  Their  banish- 
ment was,  consequently,  a  matter  of  certainty,  and 
expected  at  any  moment;  but,  in  order  to  create 
still  greater  odium  against  them,  and  thus,  appar- 
ently, exculpate  himself  in  the  step  he  was  going 
to  take,  the  minister  had  the  unheard  of  audacity 
to  publish  over  the  signature  of  several  of  the  Fathers 
a  most  satirical  and  libellous  charge  against  the  king. 
This  outrageous  and  unparalleled  proceed- 
ing so  alarmed  the  Episcopacy,  that  they  appealed 
to  the  sovereign  Pontiff  to  interpose  his  authority 
and  save  the  Society  and  religion  from  such  terri- 
ble outrages.  The  time,  however,  was  too  late. 
Pombal  had  gone  too  far  to  retrace  his  steps ;  and 
then,  under  the  plea  of  reforming  the  Society  and 
providing  for  its  interests,  he  caused  fifteen  hun- 
dred Jesuits  to  be  arrested  and  cast  into  dungeons, 
confiscating,  at  the  same  time,  all  the  property  of 
which  they  were  owners  ! 




a  Bkief  in  the  name  of  his  Holiness.  —  Banishes  the  Fathees 
feom  the  countey. — drives  them  feom  all  the  dependencies. 

—  Sends  most  of  them  to  Italy.  —  Father  Malagrida  burned  at 
the  Stake.  —  Conspiracy  of  the  Free-thinkers  for  the  destruc- 
tion of  the  Society.  —  Peoceedings  of  the  French  Parliament. 

—  Effoets  of  the  Feench  Cleegy  in  behalf  of  the  Religious.  — 
Depeived  of  all  theie  possessions  by  the  High  Court  of  Paris. — 
Opinions  of  Protestants  on  this.  —  The  King  refuses  to  sign  an 
edict  for  their  banishment.  —  Clement  XIII.  in  their  favor.  — 
Antipathy  to  the  Society  in  Spain.  —  False  charges  against  it. 

—  Their  expulsion  from  the  Spanish  Dominions.  —  Depaetuee 
feom  califoenia. 

Although  the  suppression  of  the  Society  of  St. 
Ignatius  of  Loyola,  in  the  kingdom  of  Portugal, 
forms  no  part  of  Calif ornian  history,  yet,  as  it 
bears  indirectly  on  our  subject,  having  led  to  the 
subsequent  banishment  of  the  Fathers  from  these 
parts  by  the  King  of  Spain,  it  has  been  deemed 
proper  to  place  the  more  prominent  features  there- 
of before  the  mind  of  the  reader. 

After  the  accomplishment  of  the  atrocious  pro- 
ceedings narrated  in  the  closing  paragraph  of  the 
preceding  chapter,  the  unscrupulous  minister  of 
Joseph  I.,  as  if  to  exhaust  his  effrontery,  wrote  to 
the  sovereign  Pontiff,  acquainting  him  with  the 
measures  he  had  taken,  and  requesting  an  ap- 
proval of  his  acts.  Audacity  could  hardly  go 
further.     It  was  attempting  to  make  the  Vicar  of 

404  HISTORY    OF    THE 

Christ  an  accomplice  in  a  most  ignoble  and  ini- 
quitous proceeding.  Yet  even  this  was  not  the 
entire  of  his  daring. 

Finding  that  the  solicited  brief  of  approval  was 
not  likely  to  be  granted,  Pombal  wrote  to  his  am- 
bassador at  Rome,  ordering  him  to  draw  up,  in  the 
name  of  the  Pontiff,  a  document  such  as  he  de- 
sired, and  to  have  it  immediately  forwarded  to  Lis- 
bon. The  minister  was  equal  to  the  occasion,  and 
in  compliance  with  his  master's  desires,  framed  the 
solicited  brief,  in  which  he  made  Clement  ap- 
prove of  all  his  master's  proceedings,  pointing  out 
at  the  same  time  the  disposition  that  was  to  be 
made  of  the  confiscated  property.  This  shame- 
ful proceeding  succeeded  for  the  moment  and 
strengthened  for  the  time  the  hands  of  the  minister. 
Meanwhile  the  true  document  having  arrived,  the 
treachery  was  discovered,  and  the  author  of  the  for- 
gery covered  with  infamy.  But  what  cared  so  profli- 
gate and  reckless  a  man  for  the  anger  and  indig- 
nation of  the  people  ?  He  had  only  one  object  in 
new,  and  that  he  was  determined  on  effecting  at 
every  hazard  and  under  every  circumstance.  To 
make  the  Pope  a  partner  in  his  crime  he  had  re- 
lied in  the  first  instance  upon  cunning  and  fraud, 
but  finding  these  unavailing  he  resorted  to  threats 
and  to  violence,  declaring  he  would  estrange  the 
entire  country  from  the  Catholic  religion  unless  the 
sovereign  Pontiff  approved  of  his  acts.  Defeated 
even  in  this  he  finally  resolved  upon  clearing  his 


prisons,  and  shipping  all  the  incarcerated  Religious 
to  Rome,  hoping  thereby  at  least  to  torment  and 
embarrass  his  Holiness.  Accordingly  on  the  first 
September,  1759,  in  accordance  with  the  orders  of 
Pombal,  the  first  batch  of  the  Fathers,  consisting 
of  one  hundred  and  thirty-three  members,  was 
shipped  for  Civita  Yecchia.  They  were  crowded 
on  board  a  miserable  merchantman,  entirely  un- 
equal to  the  accommodation  of  so  many,  and  al- 
most utterly  destitute  of  the  most  necessary  pro- 
visions. Their  only  earthly  possessions  were  their 
breviaries  and  their  crucifixes. 

It  may  here  occur  to  the  reader  to  inquire  if  the 
cruelty  and  injustice  of  the  minister  were  shared 
in  by  the  people  at  large.  By  no  means.  The 
people  were  strongly  attached  to  the  Fathers.  A 
single  word  and  Pombal  would  have  been  hurled 
into  the  Tagus,  but  that  word  the  Fathers  never 
would  utter.  Nay,  they  did  everything  in  their 
power  to  appease  the  anger  of  the  people,  using 
their  entire  influence  to  induce  them  to  submit  to 

The  same  proceedings  which  were  adopted  in 
Portugal  against  the  Religious  were  also  enacted 
in  the  dependencies  against  the  same  body,  with 
equal,  if  not  greater  severity.  In  the  east  and  the 
west,  wherever  Portuguese  missions  were  estab- 
lished, the  Fathers  were  seized,  hurried  on  board 
miserable  vessels  and  forwarded  to  Lisbon.  On 
arriving  in  the  Tagus,  those   who  were  natives, 

406  HISTORY   OF   THE 

were  immediately  ordered  to  Italy,  while  the  for- 
eigners were  cast  into  prisons.  This  was  an  artful 
and  politic  move  of  the  minister,  lest  the  friends 
of  the  former,  incited  by  their  sufferings,  might 
rise  in  their  favor. 

The  reception  they  met  with  in  Italy  was  most 
consoling  to  their  feelings,  and  calculated  to  as- 
suage the  bitterness  of  their  sufferings.  The  secular 
and  regular  clerg}^  with  the  nobility  and  people^ 
vied  with  each  other  in  showing  them  every  mark 
of  respect,  and  in  providing  for  their  necessary 
wants.  At  Civita  Yecchia  the  Dominicans  had  a 
monument  erected  in  commemoration  of  their 
trials,  while  the  sovereign  Pontiff  received  them 
with  a  tenderness  and  affection  worthy  of  a  Father 
for  his  suffering  children.  In  this  the  implacable 
minister  of  Portugal  could  not  help  being  able  to 
see  the  true  light  in  which  his  execrable  conduct 
was  regarded  by  others.  But  even  that  was  in- 
sufficient to  arrest  him  in  his  headlong  career. 
Hitherto  he  had  only  been  gulilty  of  cruelty,  bar- 
barity and  injustice  to  the  Fathers,  but  now  he 
was  going  to  add  a  more  horrible  crime  to  his  list 
of  enormities.  Amongst  the  Religious  who  were 
then  imprisoned  at  the  capital  was  a  venerable 
missionary — Father  Gabriel  de  Malagricla,  an  Ital- 
ian, who  had  spent  a  great  part  of  his  life  in  the 
Brazils.  He  had  grown  gray  in  service  of  religion, 
and  was  sixty-nine  years  of  age  at  the  time  of  his 
arrest.     On  the  plea  of  having  written  some  ob- 


jectionable  works  upon  prophecy  and  vision,  the 
venerable  man  was  arraigned  before  the  Inquis- 
itorial Assembly,  and  though  the  writings  in  which 
he  was  said  to  have  erred  were  never  produced, 
the  minister's  word  being  taken  instead,  Father 
Malagrida  was  convicted  of  blasphemy  and  heresy, 
and  condemned  to  be  burnt  alive — a  fate  which 
he  courageously  met  on  the  21st  of  September, 
1761  ! 

Even  the  greatest  enemy  of  religion  was  shock- 
ed at  this  act.  "  Thus,"  says  Voltaire,  "  was  the 
extreme  of  absurdity  added  to  the  extreme  of 
horror."  To  thoroughly  understand  the  nature  of 
the  hostility  directed  against  the  Society  of  the 
Jesuits  at  this  time,  it  is  necessary  to  remember 
the  character  of  the  age.  No  other  period  of 
modern  times  presents  such  a  lamentable  example 
in  the  history  of  Catholic  Europe. 

Nations  which  had  hitherto  remained  firm  in 
their  profession  of  Catholic  truth,  were  now  seri- 
ously disturbed  by  the  false  philosphical  systems 
of  the  time.  The  character  assumed  by  the  new 
opponents  of  religion  was  different  from  that  of 
the  immediately  preceding  century.  Disbelieving 
every  form  of  Christian  faith,  the  new  instructors 
of  the  human  mind  looked  upon  all  religion  as  a 
mere  human  invention,  and,  by  a  process  of  rea- 
soning peculiar  to  themselves,  essayed  to  establish 
the  doctrine  of  reason  instead  of  the  religion  of 
Christ.     In  France,  which  was  the    focus    of  the 

408  HISTORY    OF   THE 

movement,  the  party  was  represented  by  Voltaire, 
Rousseau,  Volney,  Bayle  and  others.  The  well- 
known  motto  of  the  chief  was  the  terrible  ex- 
pression: "  Ecraser  Y  infame." — u  To  crush  the 
infamous  one,"  by  which  he  understood  the  relig- 
ion of  the  Redeemer.  To  this  end,  we  are  as- 
sured he  vowed  his  whole  life  and  his  entire 
talents;  yet  the  hour  at  last  came  when  that  im- 
pious man  despairingly  solicited  the  aid  of  that 
religion  which  he  had  so  horribly  outraged. 

The  constant  and  leading  assertion  of  the  scep- 
tical Bayle  was,  that  society  could  never  be  pros- 
perous or  properly  organized  till  deprived  of  every 
religious  idea.  Of  Damilaville,  Voltaire  himself 
said,  in  the  bitterest  irony,  that  though  he  did  not 
deny  the  existence  of  God,  yet  he  hated  the  Al- 
mighty. Rousseau,  Volney  and  D  up  iris  employed 
themselves  in  discrediting  the  miracles  of  the 
gospel,  and  the  existence  of  scriptural  personages 
Diderot  taught  atheism;  and  Holbach,  Condillac 
and  Helvetius,  materialism.  The  works  in  which 
this  band  of  iniquitous  men  embodied  their 
thoughts,  and  sought  to  perpetuate  their  errone- 
ous philosophy,  was  the  memorable  Encyclopedia 
— a  work  which  an  eminent  Catholic  writer  has 
termed  "a  real  tower  of  Babel,  reared  by  the 
genius  of  hell  against  God  and  His  Christ."  In 
that  horrible  serial,  Nature  was  made  to  take  the 
place  of  the  Almighty,  religion  was  declared  to  be 
an  invention  of  man,  human  nature  lowered  to  the 


standard  of  the  brute,  and  the  existence  of  the 
future  regarded  as  a  myth. 

The  accomplices  of  these  irreligious  minds  were 
the  parliaments  and  the  ministers  of  the  Catholic 
powers.  Pombal,  in  Portugal,  d'Aranda,  in  Spain, 
Tanucci,  at  Naples,  and  Choiseul,  in  France,  were 
all  on  their  side.  The  object  of  the  leaders  of  the 
party  being  the  entire  destruction  of  religion,  it  is 
not  to  be  wondered  that  their  hatred  was  directed 
in  the  first  instance  against  the  glorious  Society  of 
the  Jesuits,  then  numbering  twenty-two  thousand 
learned,  zealous,  devoted  champions  of  Catholic 
truth.  The  destruction  of  the  Society,  they  falsely 
imagined,  would  involve  the  destruction  of  reli- 
gion, never  remembering  that  the  church  of  the 
Redeemer  was  not  founded  on  any  body  of  men, 
but  established  on  the  immovable  Rock  of  Ages. 

In  this  project  of  the  philosophers  and  free- 
thinkers, the  reader  has  before  his  mind  the  ver- 
itable causes  which  led  to  the  persecution  and 
hatred  of  the  Jesuit  body  at  that  time.  And  so 
much  has  been  deemed  necessary  to  be  said  in  ex- 
planation of  the  fact,  for  it  is  to  be  feared  there 
are  many  even  among- Catholics,  who,  because  the 
Fathers  were  banished  by  Catholic  powers,  incline 
to  the  belief  that  they  must  necessarily  have  been 
guilty  of  some  serious  social  or  political  crime, 
though  the  entire  history  of  the  time  contains  not 
not  a  single  established  instance  thereof. 

The  course  which  Pombal  was  pursuing  in  Por- 

410  HISTORY   OF    THE 

tugal,  Choiseul,  prime-minister  of  Louis  XV.,  was 
following  in  France.  By  means  of  the  philoso- 
phical party,  on  the  first  April,  1762,  all  the 
Jesuit  colleges  within  the  jurisdiction  of  the  me- 
tropolitan parliament  were  ordered  to  be  closed. 
At  the  same  time  the  country  was  inundated  by 
their  enemies  with  innumerable  pamphlets,  in 
which  the  Fathers  were  accused  of  almost  every 
imaginable  crime.  Sacrilege,  blasphemy,  magic, 
idolatry,  heresy,  and  schism  were  freely  laid  to  their 
charge.  In  fact,  they  were  declared  to  be  any- 
thing or  everything  but  members  of  the  Catholic 
church,  and  this  with  the  view  of  prejudicing  the 
minds  of  the  people  against  them. 

The  clergy,  on  the  other  hand,  did  what  they 
could  to  save  the  Society.  In  a  convention  held 
at  the  time,  they  drew  up  a  memorial,  rebutting 
the  calumnies,  and  imploring  the  protection  of  the 
king.  The  concluding  paragraph  of  the  prayer 
was  as  follows:  "Religion  commends  to  your 
guard  its  defenders;  the  church,  its  ministers; 
Christian  souls,  their  spiritual  directors;  a  vast 
portion  of  your  subjects,  the  revered  masters  who 
have  imparted  to  them  their  education ;  the  youth 
of  your  empire,  those  who  are  to  model  their 
minds  and  direct  their  hearts.  Do  not,  Sire,  we 
implore  you,  refuse  to  accede  to  the  expressed 
wishes  of  so  many.  Do  not  allow  that  in  your 
kingdom,  contrary  to  the  dictates  of  justice,  against 
the  rules  of  the  church  and  in  opposition  to  the 


civil  law,  an  entire  Society  should  be  destroyed 
without  cause.    The  interest  of  your  authority  itself 
demands  this  at  your  hands,  and  we  profess  to  be 
as  jealous  of  your  majesty's  rights  as  we  are  of  our 

The  }rear  previous,  all  the  cardinals,  archbish- 
ops and  bishops  of  France,  with  the  exception  of 
the  Jansenist  prelate,  Fitz  James,  had  declared  in 
favor  of  the  Society. 

There  can  be  very  little  doubt  that  the  monarch 
would  have  done  justice  to  the  Fathers  it  left  to 
himself;  but,  like  his  brother  of  Portugal,  he  was 
ruled  by  a  party,  of  which  the  minister  was  leader. 
The  only  result  from  the  petition  of  the  clergy, 
was  an  order  to  the  provincial  assemblies  to  inves- 
tigate into  and  decide  upon  the  constitutions  of  the 
Society.  This  was  exactly  what  the  enemies  of 
religion  demanded ;  in  it  they  saw  the  complete 
triumph  of  their  cause.  It  mattered  not  that  the 
institute  had  been  approved  of  by  the  Church  in 
general  council  and  by  several  Popes;  the  depu- 
ties of  the  various  departments  were  sure  to  ar- 
rive at  a  different  resolve.  Such,  in  reality,  was 
the  case.  With  the  ^exception  of  the  courts  of 
Flanders,  Artois,  Alsace,  Besancon  and  Lorraine, 
who  refused  to  admit  that  the  Jesuits  were  the  en- 
emies of  religion  and  the  State,  all  the  other  pro- 
vincial assemblies  voted  against  the  Society,  called 
for  its  suppression  and  the  expulsion  of  the  Fa- 
thers.    So   far,  the  powers  of  darkness  had  tri- 

412  HISTORY    OF    THE 

umphed.  Accordingly,  on  the  6th  of  August, 
1762,  the  Parliament  of  Paris  decreed  that  the 
Jesuit  body  could  be  no  longer  recognized  as  a  re- 
ligious community;  and  should,  from  that  moment, 
cease  to  be  regarded  as  such.  Its  members  were 
to  return  to  the  world,  to  lay  aside  the  habit  of 
their  institute,  to  avoid  practicing  their  rules,  and 
to  cease  all  communication  with  each  other  as 
members  of  the  same  body.  They  were  further 
declared  incapable  of  holding  any  office  pending 
their  subscribing  a  formulary  justifying  the  con- 
duct of  the  government.  At  the  same  time,  they 
were  deprived  of  all  their  movable  and  immovable 
property; furniture,  libraries,  presbyteries,  church- 
es, etc.  Thus,  by  an  act  termed  legal,  and  in  the 
outraged  name  of  justice,  did  the  high  Court  of 
Paris  deprive  four  thousand  blameless,  virtuous 
Religious  of  all  their  worldly  possessions,  pre- 
sumptuously arrogating  to  itself,  in  like  manner, 
the  right  of  secularizing  the  same,  and  dispensing 
them  from  their  religious  obligations  to  God  !  Of 
this  iniquitous  proceeding,  the  Protestant  writer, 
Schall,  speaks  in  the  following  condemnatory 
words:  "The  decree  of  the  parliament  is  too 
clearly  stamped  with  passion  and  injustice  to  gain  the 
approval  of  any  honest,  unprejudiced  mind ;  the  at- 
tempt to  force  the  Jesuits  to  condemn  the  princi- 
ples of  their  order,  was  to  pronounce  an  arbitrary 
decision  upon  a  fact  of  history,  evidently  false, 
and  made  up  for  the  occasion.     But,  in  such   dis- 


eases  of  the  human  mind,  as  those  which  affected 
the  generations  then  on  earth,  reason  is  silent,  the 
judgment  is  clouded  by  prejudice." 

Of  the  four  thousand  Religious  then  in  France, 
only  five  had  the  weakness  to  subscribe  to  the  oath 
required  by  their  enemies.  That  the  country 
might  not  consider  the  action  of  the  ministers  en- 
tirely unjust,  the  magnanimous  parliament  had  the 
generosity  to  allow  some  of  the  disbanded  Relig- 
ious a  franc,  and  others  a  franc  and  a  half  a  day, 
for  their  support !  But  even  this  was  not  always 
exempt  from  deduction. 

This  atrocious,  tyrannical  conduct  of  govern- 
ment at  length  awakened  the  zeal,  and  called  forth 
the  just  indignation  of  the  Archbishop  of  Paris, 
the  venerable  Christopher  de  Beaumont.  He,  at 
least,  had  the  courage  to  deplore  the  ruin  which 
was  being  brought  upon  the  Church  and  society  by 
the  expulsion  of  the  Fathers,  and  the  suppression 
of  their  colleges.  In  a  pastoral  issued  to  his  clergy 
on  the  occasion,  after  refuting  the  calumnious 
charges  made  by  the  infidels  against  the  Society, 
he  concludes  in  these  words:  ''We  are  convinced 
that  this  institute  is  pious,  as  the  Council  of  Trent 
has  declared ;  that  it  is  venerable,  as  it  was  styled 
by  the  illustrious  Bossuet.  We  know  that  the 
doctrine  of  the  whole  body  A«s  never  been  corrupted; 
and  we  are  very  far  from  looking  upon  the  'Col- 
lection of  Assertions,'  as  the  summary  and  result 
of  the  teaching  proper  to  the  Jesuits." 

414  HISTORY    OF    THE      . 

This  courageous  remonstrance  on  the  par\  of 
the  venerable  prelate,  so  far  from  recalling  the 
guilty  to  a  sense  of  their  duty,  only  served  to 
urge  them  to  greater  extremes.  By  a  vote  of  the 
assembly  the  letter  of  the  Archbishop  was  ordered 
to  be  publicly  burned,  and  the  prelate  himself 
peremptorily  ordered  to  appear  before  the  bar  of 
the  house  to  account  for  his  conduct.  Ashamed 
of  this  utter  forgetfulness  of  what  was  due  to  re- 
ligious authority,  and  fearing  the  consequences 
likely  to  result  from  the  action  of  parliament,  the 
weak-minded,  dissolute  monarch  adopted  the  very 
questionable  course  of  exiling  the  Archbishop  in 
order  to  shield  him  against  the  wrath  of  his  min- 
isters; while  the  latter,  not  to  be  entirely  frustrated 
in  their  purpose,  offered  a  further  indignity  to  the 
Fathers  by  requiring  them,  under  immediate  pen- 
alty of  banishment,  to  make  a  formal  renunciation 
of  the  institute  to  which  they  belonged.  It  is  un- 
necessary to  say  that  the  whole  of  the  Fathers 
rejected  with  promptness  and  virtuous  indigna- 
tion the  unholy  alternative,  and  stood  ready  to  a 
man  to  retire  from  the  kingdom  rather  than  form- 
ally renounce  their  beloved  Society.  The  coun- 
try, however,  was  saved  from  this  utter  humilia- 
tion and  disgrace  by  the  refusal  of  the  monarch  to 
sign  the  decree  of  expulsion,  inasmuch  as  it  con- 
tained the  objectionable  words  forever  and  irrevoca- 

"The  edict  of  expulsion,"  wrote  the  King  to  his 


minister,  "is  too  severe  in  the  expressions,  forever 
and  irrevocably.  Does  not  experience  teach  us  that 
the  severest  edicts  have  been  revoked,  no  mat- 
ter how  binding  or  strict  may  have  been  their 
clauses  ? 

"I  am  not  cordially  in  favor  of  the  Jesuits,  but 
they  have  been  always  detested  by  every  heresy; 
hence  their  success.  I  will  not  say  more.  If,  for 
the  peace  of  my  kingdom  I  banish  them,  I  would 
not  have  it  believed  that  I  entirely  approve  all 
that  the  parliament  has  said  and  done  against 

"In  yielding  to  the  judgment  of  others  for  the 
peace  of  my  kingdom,  it  is  necessary  that  the 
modification  I  suggest  should  be  made,  otherwise 
I  will  do  nothing.  I  must  conclude,  or  I  shall  say 
too  much." 

From  this  it  is  not  difficult  to  see  how  different 
were  the  sentiments]  of  the  king  and  the  parlia- 
ment; the  one  was  willing  to  sacrifice  them  in 
part,  the  other  would  be  satisfied  with  nothing 
but  their  perpetual  and  irrevocable  banishment. 
In  fine,  a  compromise  was  ultimately  effected  by 
which  it  was  agreed  that  the  Fathers  might  remain 
in  the  kingdom,  but  on  condition  of  their  report- 
ing themselves  semi-annually  to  the  local  authori- 
ties, thereby  placing  themselves,  as  an  able  Cath- 
olic writer  has  aptly  expressed  it,  in  the  category 
of  "  ticket-of-leave  men." 

While  these  shameful  proceedings  were  being 

416  HISTORY    OF    THE 

enacted  against  the  Society  in  France,  the  sov- 
ereign Pontiff,  Clement  XIII.,  frequently  wrote  to 
the  king,  exhorting  him  to  do  justice  to  the 
Fathers  and  prevent  the  triumph  of  iniquity,  but 
the  unhappy  monarch  was  ruled  by  his  minister, 
who,  in  turn,  was  but  the  creature  or  mouthpiece 
of  the  popular  party.  Finally,  finding  all  his  ap- 
peals and  remonstrances  unheeded,  in  deference  to 
the  entire  Catholic  Episcopate,  he  issued  the  mem- 
orable Bull  Apostolicum,  in  which  he  condemned 
all  the  proceedings  taken  against  the  Society  both 
in  Portugal  and  France.  A  copy  of  this  document 
was  sent  to  all  the  Catholic  powers,  but  such  was 
the  perverseness  of  the  time,  that  it  was  prohib- 
ited being  published  in  the  kingdoms  of  France, 
Portugal  and  Naples. 

The  same  spirit  that  was  at  work  for  the  destruc- 
tion of  religion  in  France  and  Portugal  was  also 
quietly  showing  itself  at  this  time  in  the  kingdom 
of  Spain.  As  long,  however,  as  Elizabeth  Farnese, 
mother  of  Charles  III.,  was  alive,  the  philosophical 
party  had  no  chance  in  the  kingdom  of  her  son. 
That  virtuous,  noble-hearted  lady  would  not  suffer 
a  Society,  approved  by  one  of  her  relatives,  to 
be  handed  over  to  its  enemies.  But  the  protec- 
tion thus  accorded  to  it  was  only  of  a  temporary 
character,  for  in  1763  the  Queen  mother  departed 
this  life,  and  then  the  enemies  of  religion  had 
nothing  to  fear.  Caution,  however,  had  to  be  ob- 
served.   Charles  had  a  certain  sense  of  religion,  and 


it  was  only  by  embittering  his  mind  and  prejudic- 
ing him  by  calumny  against  the  Society  that  the 
conspirators  could  hope  for  the  entire  accomplish- 
ment of  their  purpose.  To  this  end  a  pretext  had 
to  be  sought,  nor  had  the  party  very  long  to  delay 
in  finding  one  entirely  suited  to  their  purpose. 
On  the  26th  of  March,  1766,  Madrid  became  the 
scene  of  an  open  insurrection.  The  people  in  great 
numbers  rose  against  the  exorbitant  rate  of  pro- 
visions, and  paraded  the  streets  clamoring  for  a 
just  tariff  and  a  redress  of  other  popular  griev- 
ances. The  king  had  barely  time  to  escape ;  for 
the  insurgents  were  already  at  his  palace.  They 
had  fallen  upon  the  Walloons,  or  body  guard,  and 
massacred  them  in  great  numbers.  At  this  crit- 
ical moment,  when  the  people  were  about  giving 
themselves  up  to  the  wildest  excesses,  the  Jesuits, 
most  beloved  by  the  populace,  appeared  on  the 
scene;  and,  by  their  influence  and  popularity  with 
the  people,  succeeded  in  appeasing  the  anger  of 
the  mob,  and  in  restoring  order  to  the  city.  The 
capital,  and  very  probably  the  kingdom,  was  thus 
saved  from  the  horrors  of  a  revolutionary  out- 
burst, and  yet,  marvelous  to  consider,  this  very 
act,  which  should  have  earned  for  them  the 
undying  gratitude  of  the  monarch  and  the  State, 
was  made  use  of  by  their  enemies  for  the  comple- 
tion of  their  ruin.  D'Aranda,  the  prime  minister, 
the  friend  and  confidant  of  the  iniquitous  Pombal, 

together  with  Choiseul,  minister  of  France,  per- 


418  HISTORY    OF    THE 

suaded  his  majesty  that  as  the  Fathers  had  suc- 
ceeded so  effectually  in  quelling  the  outbreak,  they 
must  needs  necessarily  be  the  originators  thereof! 
Another  circumstance  was  laid  hold  of  at  the 
time  to  further  embitter  the  king's  mind  against 
the  Society.  Juan  de  Palafox,  the  Jansenistic 
Bishop  of  Angelopolis,  was  said  by  his  party  to 
have  been  a  most  saintly  and  virtuous  man,  and 
to  have  performed  during  life  several  miracles. 
The  king  was  applied  to  to  seek  for  his  canoniza- 
tion, but  in  this  he  was  opposed  by  the  Fathers, 
who  endeavored,  but  in  vain,  to  enlighten  his  ma- 
jesty as  to  the  true  motives  of  the  sectaries.  This, 
too,  served  to  estrange  the  king  not  a  little  from 
the  Society.  But  more  was  still  required  to  effect 
its  entire  ruin.  Nothing  short  of  a  belief  that  his 
crown  and  his  life  were  in  danger  conld  induce 
the  naturally  virtuous  and  over-confiding  monarch 
to  banish  the  Fathers  from  his  dominions.  This 
the  enemies  of  religion  clearly  observed,  and  they 
determined  upon  having  recourse  to  that  final  ex- 
treme. As  in  the  case  of  the  heir  apparent  to  the 
Portuguese  crown,  they  persuaded  the  king  that 
the  Fathers  were  engaged  in  a  project  for  placing 
his  brother  Don  Louis  on  the  throne.  In  support 
of  this  assertion,  they  showed  him  a  document 
purporting  to  have  come  from  the  Father-General 
at  Borne,  in  which  the  illegitimacy  of  the  king  was 
called  into  account;  and  measures  pointed  out  for 
placing  the  crown  on   the  head  of  the  legitimate 


heir.  ■'  The  letter,"  says  the  Protestant  Schall, 
"  was  written  by  order  of  the  Duke  of  Choiseul 
by  a  skillful  forger,  who  succeeded  in  perfectly 
imitating  the  writing  of  the  general;  it  was  di- 
rected to  the  rector  in  Madrid,  and  mailed  at 
Rome.  D'Aranda  was  on  the  watch  for  the  mo- 
ment of  its  arrival,  and  held  himself  in  readiness 
to  seize  it  before  it  could  even  be  read."  The  plot 
was  as  successful  in  every  way  as  the  authors 
could  have  wished.  The  king,  taken  entirely  by 
surprise,  fell  a  victim  to  the  treachery  of  his  min- 
ister. He  never  for  a  moment  suspected  the  snare 
that  was  laid  for  his  ruin.  He  believed  all  that 
he  had  heard;  and  yet,  amid  the  jndignation 
and  grief  that  struggled  in  his  breast,  he  hesi- 
tated to  carry  out  the  wishes  of  his  advisers, 
by  banishing  the  Religious.  Persuaded  by  the 
leaders  of  the  plot  that  secrecy  was  absolutely 
necessary,  in  order  to  avoid  the  imaginary  clanger 
impending,  Charles  privately  consulted  several 
learned  divines,  desiring  to  know  if  a  monarch 
would  be  justified  in  banishing  from  his  dominions 
a  religious  community  for  reasons  which  he  could 
not  make  public.  The  theologians  unanimously 
returned  an  answer  in  the  negative,  but  the  min- 
ister and  courtiers  answered  in  the  affirmative.  To 
the  latter  the  king  unhappily  deferred ;  and  then 
was  issued  that  terrible  order  by  which  all  the  Re- 
ligious were  unmercifully  banished  from  the  entire 
empire  of  Spain.     The  instructions  which   were 

420  HISTORY    OF    THE 

signed  by  his  majesty,  and  countersigned  by 
d'Aranda,  were  inclosed  under  three  covers,  on  the 
innermost  of  which  were  the  words  :  "  On  pain  of 
death  this  packet  is  not  to  be  opened  until  the 
evening  of  the  second  of  April,  1767."  Within, 
the  instructions  ran  as  follows:  "  I  invest  you  with 
all  my  authority,  and  all  my  royal  power,  to  pro- 
ceed forthwith  to  the  house  of  the  Jesuits.  You 
will  there  seize  all  the  Religious,  and  convey  them 
as  prisoners  to  the  port  herein  indicated  within 
twenty-four  hours.  They  will  there  be  placed  on 
board  a  vessel,  which  must  be  in  attendance  to  re- 
ceive them.  At  the  time  you  make  the  arrests, 
you  will  see  that  all  the  papers  and  documents  are 
taken  possession  of  and  placed  under  seal,  and  that 
no  one  be  permitted  to  take  away  anything  but  a 
change  of  linen  and  his  books  of  devotion.  If, 
after  the  embarkation  there  be  found  within  your 
department  a  single  Jesuit,  he  he  sick  or  even  dying, 
your  punishment  will  be  death.         The  King." 

Thus,  on  the  2d  of  April,  1767,  all  the  Jesuits 
throughout  the  whole  of  the  Spanish  dominions, 
both  at  home  and  abroad,  in  the  east  and  the  west, 
were  seized  by  order  of  Charles  III.,  and  without 
any  hearing  or  trial,  without  even  knowing  the 
cause  of  complaint,  were  thrown  into  prison,  and 
treated  as  the  veriest  criminals.  The  numbers 
subjected  to  this  horrible  outrage,  unparalleled  in 
the  annals  of  history,  amounted,  in  all,  to  close  on 
six  thousand.     On  the  same  2d  of  April,  his  ma- 


jesty  issued  a  royal  proclamation,  or  pragmatic 
sanction,  in  order  to  justify  himself  in  the  eyes  of 
his  subjects,  declaring  that  the  motives  which  urged 
him  to  that  course  were  sufficient,  but  yet  should 
ever  remain  buried  in  his  royal  breast,  and  that  if  he 
did  not  act  with  greater  severity,  it  was  only  ow- 
ing to  clemency.  The  document  also  made  known 
to  the  public,  that  any  one  convicted  of  speaking 
or  writing  in  favor  of  the  Fathers,  would  be  con- 
sidered guilty  of  a  capital  offence.  Even  parents 
were  strictly  prohibited  holding  intercourse  di- 
rectly or  indirectly  with  their  children  of  the  So- 
ciety. Tyranny,  absurdity  and  folly  could  hardly 
proceed  to  further  extremes. 

In  California,  the  royal  instructions  were  carried 
out  with  the  same  vigor  and  promptitude  as  in  the 
other  dependencies,  with  this  only  difference,  that 
the  distance  from  Spain  prevented  their  being  ex- 
ecuted on  the  day  appointed  by  the  king.  Their 
execution  was  entrusted  to  Don  Gaspar  Portala, 
who  was  named  governor  of  the  country.  He  was 
attended  by  a  body  of  troops,  fifty  in  number,  in 
order  that  if  necessary,  he  might  be  able  to  for- 
cibly expel  the  Religious.  The  governor  and 
party  arrived  in  the  country  toward  the*  e'rfa  of  No- 
vember, 1767,  and  immediately  proceeded  to  ex- 
ecute the  royal  commands.  Up  to  this  moment 
the  Fathers  were  entirely  unaware  of  what  was 
about  to  take  place.  The}^  had  not  heard  of  the 
proceedings  in  Europe  and  Mexico.     In  compli- 

422  HISTORY    OF    THE 

ance  with  an  invitation  of  the  governor,  to  meet 
him  at  Loretto,  the  Father  visitor  arrived  there 
on  the  eve  of  the  Nativity  of  Our  Blessed  Re- 
deemer. On  the  following  day,  which  should  have 
been  one  of  rejoicing  rather  than  of  mourning, 
he  heard  from  the  lips  of  the  governor  the  con- 
tents of  the  fatal  decree.  It  was  read  for  him  and 
his  companions,  in  the  presence  of  the  necessary 
witnesses.  From  that  moment  they  were  no  longer 
their  own  masters ;  they  were  prisoners  in  the 
hands  of  the  civil  authorities.  If  they  were  not 
cast  into  prison,  it  was  merely  owing  to  the  kind- 
ness and  humanity  of  the  governor.  They  were, 
however,  obliged  to  hand  over  all  charge  of  their 
establishments,  and  to  give  an  account  of  all  their 
possessions ;  while,  at  the  same  time,  they  found 
themselves  prohibited  from  exercising  any  public 
ecclesiastical  functions. 

Thereupon  the  Superior  immediately  wrote  to 
all  the  Religious,  acquainting  them  with  the  un- 
pleasant instructions  of  government.  It  was  a 
part  of  the  governor's  order  that  they  were  to  re- 
main at  their  several  posts  till  replaced  by  the  ex- 
pected Franciscans,  then  on  their  way  to  the  coun- 
try, •Wten  they. should  repair  to  Loretto,  bringing 
with  them  only  the  most  necessary  articles.  The 
instructions  of  the  governor  also  required  them 
to  preach  to  their  flocks,  exhorting  them  to  obe- 
dience and  submission  to  the  new  order  of  things. 
Having  faithfully  executed  the  orders  of  their  Su- 


perior,  the  Fathers  started  for  Loretto.  The  scene 
witnessed  through  the  country  as  they  parted 
with  their  respective  congregations,  has  never  been 
equaled  in  the  history  of  California.  The  loss 
of  friends,  relatives  or  parents,  could  not  evoke  a 
greater  expression  of  grief  and  affection.  The  re- 
membrance of  all  that  the  Fathers  had  done  for 
them,  the  blessings,  spiritual  and  temporal,  which 
they  had  conferred  on  them,  now  came  strongly 
before  the  minds  of  the  people,  and  produced  the 
liveliest  sentiments  of  sorrow  and  gratitude.  Oth- 
ers, indeed,  it  is  true,  were  coming  to  replace  them, 
but  they  were  strangers,  and  unacquainted  with 
the  language  and  manners  of  the  people.  At 
length  the  fatal  moment  arrived  ;  on  the  same  day 
and  about  the  same  hour,  all  the  Religious,  except 
those  of  Loretto,  bid  a  farewell  adieu  to  their  re- 
spective people.  The  impression  made  on  the  na- 
tives is  best  described  in  the  words  of  one  who  took 
part  in  one  of  those  scenes:  "The  fatal  day  is 
come.  All  the  people  surround  the  altar  in  silence, 
to  assist  at  the  holy  sacrifice  for  the  last  time. 
The  mass  finished,  the  Father  proceeds  to  the  door 
to  take  a  last  farewell  of  his  desolate  children. 
At  that  moment  all  threw  themselves  upon  him, 
kissing  his  hands  and  sobbing  aloud,  pressing  him, 
at  the  same  time  with  such  fervor,  that  he  was 
well-nigh  being  smothered.  On  the  other  hand, 
the  pastor  gave  expression  to  his  grief  in  an  abun- 
dance of  tears,  and  knew  not  how  to   disengage 

424  HISTORY    OF    THE 

himself  from  the  arms  of  the  people."  Thus,  with 
hearts  full  of  grief,  and  eyes  streaming  with  tears, 
these  simple-minded,  affectionate  people,  parted 
with  their  Fathers,  their  guides  and  support.  In 
other  instances,  their  affection  was  expressed  more 
convincingly.  The  pastor  of  the  mission  of  St. 
Gertrude,  the  Rev.  Father  Retz,  being  unable  to 
walk  or  to  ride,  on  account  of  an  accident  he  had 
met  with  a  little  before,  the  Christians,  in  order 
that  he  might  not  be  disappointed  in  joining  his 
brethren,  bore  him  on  their  shoulders  a  distance 
of  one  hundred  and  twenty  miles  to  the  mission 
of  Loretto. 

Arrived  at  that  place,  the  Fathers  lost  no  time 
in  taking  their  departure.  They  were  in  all  fifteen 
and  a  lay-brother,  the  exact  number  of  those  who 
had  died  in  the  country.  The  3d  of  February  was 
fixed  for  their  departure,  but  the  Governor  fear- 
ing the  impression  that  their  departure  might 
make  on  the  people,  if  conducted  by  day,  ordered 
the  embarkation  to  take  place  in  the  night.  The 
precaution,  however,  was  unavailing,  for  no  sooner 
were  they  taken  out  than  the  whole  town  was 
astir.  The  simple  announcement,  "The  Fathers 
are  going,"  drew  every  one  that  was  capable  of 
moving  to  the  spot.  In  vain  would  the  soldiers 
endeavor  to  keep  them  at  a  distance.  With  a 
common  impulse,  caused  by  love  and  grief,  and 
which  brooks  neither  delay  nor  hindrance,  the  en- 
tire multitude  prostrated  themselves  on  the  ground 


before  the  assembled  Religious,  some  giving  expres- 
sion to  their  sorrow  and  affection  by  kissing  their 
hands  and  feet,  others  on  their  knees  imploring 
pardon  for  their  past  offenses;  while  others,  still 
more  ardent  in  their  affection,  pressed  the  Fa- 
thers tenderly  in  their  arms  as  they  wished  them 
a  lasting  and  parting  adieu.  This  painful  spec- 
tacle at  an  end,  the  missionaries  addressed  their 
last  words  to  the  people.  They  were  short  but 
impressive:  ''Adieu,  dear  Indians,  adieu  Cali- 
fornia, adieu  land  of  our  adoption,  fiat  voluntas 
Dei."  Then,  amid  the  tears,  the  sobs  and  lament- 
ations of  the  multitude,  the  fifteen  Jesuit  Fathers, 
reciting  aloud  the  litany  of  the  Blessed  Mother  of 
God,  turned  their  face  from  the  land  of  their  la- 
bors, banished  by  orders  of  a  monarch,  whose  only 
reason  for  expelling  them  from  his  dominions  were 
the  imaginary  crimes  laid  to  their  charge  by  the 
enemies  of  religion.  Thus,  on  the  3d  of  February, 
1768,  were  lost  to  California  the  presence  and  la- 
bors of  that  noble  and  devoted  body  of  men,  who, 
during  the  comparatively  short  period  of  their 
missionary  career,  had  converted  the  whole  of 
Lower  California  from  Cape  St.  Lucas  to  the  mouth 
of  the  Colorado. 

426  HISTORY    OF    THE 



Peotestant  TESTIMONY  IN  FAVOB  OF  THE  Fathees.  —  Teue  CAUSE 

of  the  Antipathy  of  theie  Enemies.  —  Inteigues  of  theie  En- 
emies.—  Election  of  Clement  XIV.  —  Feedeeick  the  Geeat's 
Opinion  of  the  Society.  —  Peessuee  on  His  Holiness  to  sttp- 
peess  the  Society.  —  Its  Shppeession.  —  Opinion  of  the  W.oeld 
on  the  act.  —  Reoeganization  of  the   Society. 

Having  laid  before  the  reader,  in  connection  with 
our  subject,  the  measures  adopted  toward  the 
Jesuits  by  some  of  the  principal  powers  of  Eu- 
rope, and  their  expulsion  from  Lower  California 
by  order  of  Charles  III.,  it  may  not  be  amiss  to 
continue  the  history  of  the  Society  till  its  final 
suppression  by  the  sovereign  Pontiff,  in  1773. 
The  very  different  judgments  that  have  been  passed 
on  this  subject,  both  by  the  Protestant  and  Cath- 
olic world,  demand,  in  the  interests  of  truth,  a 
clear  and  accurate  account  of  the  motives  and  rea- 
sons that  prompted  the  act.  Judging  from  the 
statements  of  unfavorable  writers,  or  from  their 
own  peculiar  assumptions,  Protestants  generally 
regard  the  suppression  of  the  body  as  an  act  of 
well-merited  chastisement  for  the  secret  and  po- 
litical intrigues  of  which  they  suppose  the  mem- 
bers to  have  been  guilty;  while  Catholics,  on  the 
other  hand,  from  not  carefully  examining  the  en- 


tire  bearings  of  the  case,  and  not  taking  into  ac- 
count the  very  critical  condition  of  the  Church  at 
the  time,  fail  to  recognize  in  the  act  of  suppres- 
sion aught  but  the  most  inexplicable  weakness  on 
the  part  of  the  Vicar  of  Christ.  That  both  are 
laboring  under  a  very  grievous  mistake,  we  pro- 
pose to  show: 

In  order  to  form  an  accurate  judgment  of  the 
merits  of  the  case,  it  is  necessary  to  remember  the 
efforts  made  by  the  infidels  and  free-thinkers  of 
the  age  against  the  Religious,  and  the  dangers 
that  threatened  the  Church  in  case  their  demands 
were  refused.  In  a  previous  chapter  we  have 
shown  how  the  courts  of  Spain,  Portugal  and 
France  earnestly  solicited  the  suppression  of  the 
Society  at  the  behests  of  the  classes  to  whom  we 
allude,  and  whose  only  cause  of  complaint  against 
the  Society  was,  the  great  power  and  influence  its 
members  possessed  as  teachers  of  religion.  That 
the  members  of  the  Society  were  not  guilty  of  any 
of  the  crimes  laid  to  their  charge,  social,  political 
or  other,  for  which  they  should  be  subjected  to 
banishment,  is  abundantly  clear  from  the  fact  that 
in  none  of  the  countries  where  their  enemies 
called  loudly  for  their  ruin,  and  where  they  had 
the  power  in  their  own  hands,  were  any  of  the 
members  convicted  or  even  arraigned  on  a  definite 
charge,  with  the  exception  of  Lavalette  and  Mal- 
agrida,  to  whose  memories  the  world  has  long 
since  done  the  amplest  justice. 

428  HISTORY    OF    THE 

It  is  true  the  rules  and  principles  of  the  Society 
so  often  approved  and  commended  by  the  Church 
and  her  rulers,  were  condemned;  but  condemned 
only  by  the  infidel  parliament  of  a  dissolute  mon- 
arch, the  true  value  of  whose  censure  may  be 
learned  from  the  words  of  the  Protestant  Schall, 
quoted  on  another  occasion:  "The  "decree  of  the 
parliament  is  too  clearly  stamped  with  passion  and 
injustice,  to  gain  the  approval  of  any  honest,  un- 
prejudiced mind.7' 

If  the  assertions  set  forth  in  the  anonymous 
pamphlet  cast  broadcast  through  the  community 
to  excite  the  people  against  the  Religious  were 
true  only  in  part,  how  is  it  that  not  one  of  their 
most  inveterate  enemies  came  forward  to  accuse 
them  in  person?  How  is  it,  if  they  were  the  in- 
triguers and  intermecldlers  in  the  affairs  of  the 
State  of  which  they  were  so  unscrupulously 
charged,  that  some  or  other  of  the  governments 
of  whom  they  were  subjects,  had  none  of  them 
judicially  arraigned  and  legally  condemned?  How 
is  it,  that  when  they  had  to  be  exiled  and  their 
properties  confiscated,  the  proceedings  taken 
against  them  were  marked  by  a  want  of  all  law, 
and  even  in  defiance  of  the  first  principles  of  jus- 
tice ;  that  when  his  majesty  of  Spain  drove  them 
unscrupulously  from  all  his  possessions,  both  at 
home  and  abroad,  he  could  find  no  other  or  bet- 
ter excuse  as  a  justification  of  his  arbitrary  and 
tyrannical  measure,  than  the  unsatisfactory  declar- 


ation  that  he  kept  the  motive  enclosed  in  his 
breast?  How  is  it,  in  fine,  that  neither  time,  la- 
bor nor  research,  has  ever  been  able  to  show  any 
document,  writing  or  record  of  any  description 
by  which  the  guilt  or  complicity  of  these  men 
could  in  any  manner  be  reasonably  established? 
The  reason  is  clear;  they  were  innocent — inno- 
cent of  the  crimes  laid  to  their  charge:  the  best 
and  most  satisfactory  evidence  of  which  is  the 
fact  that  when,  without  warning,  all  their  religious 
establishments  were  entered  in  Spain  and  else- 
where, not  a  letter  or  object  was  found,  calculated 
to  compromise  in  the  smallest  a  single  member  of 
the  Society.  Even  Protestant  historians  have 
long  since  began  to  acknowledge  this  notable  fact. 
"If  we  divest  ourselves  of  prejudice,"  sa}^s  Mr. 
Dunham  in  his  History  of  Spain,  "in  weighing  the 
conduct  and  the  character  of  the  Jesuits — still 
more,  if  we  contrast  them  with  those  of  their  per- 
secutors, we  cannot  shut  our  eyes  to  the  fact,  that 
their  lives  were  generally  not  merely  blameless, 
but  useful;  that  they  were  the  victims  of  a  system- 
atic conspiracy,  more  selfish  in  its  objects,  and 
more  atrocious  than  any. which  was  ever  held  up 
to  the  execration  of  mankind.  With  a  refinement 
of  cruelty  which  we  should  not  have  expected 
from  the  court  of  Carlos,  they  were  forbidden 
even  to  complain,  under  the  penalty  of  losing  the 
annual  pittance  assigned  them;  nay,  the  Spaniard 
who  presumed  to  speak  or  write  in   their   defence 

430  HISTORY    OF    THE 

was  declared  guilty  of  high  treason.  But  these 
venerable  men  were  resigned  to  their  fate ;  so  far 
from  uttering  one  word  of  complaint,  they  soothed 
their  irritated  flocks,  whom  they  calmly  exhorted 
to  obey  the  civil  powers."  "I  cannot  conclude  the 
just  encomiums  of  these  men,"  says  an  eye-wit- 
ness to  their  expulsion  from  the  Philippine 
Islands,  "without  observing  that  in  a  situation 
where  the  extreme  attachment  of  the  natives  to 
their  pastors  might,  with  little  encouragement, 
have  given  occasion  to  all  the  evils  of  violence 
and  insurrection — I  saw  them  meet  the  edict  for 
the  abolition  of  their  order  with  the  deference  due 
to  the  civil  authority;  but,  at  the  same  time,  with 
a  strength  and  firmness  of  mind  truly  manly  and 

The  true  and  undoubted  cause,  then,  of  the 
hatred  and  antipathy  entertained  toward  the  So- 
ciety, at  the  period  of  which  we  are  writing,  is  to 
be  sought  for  and  found  in  the  hatred  and  antip- 
athy borne  by  the  philosophers  and  irreligionists 
of  the  day  against  the  entire  Catholic  Church,  and 
against  the  Jesuit  Fathers  in  particular,  as  its  best 
and  noblest  defenders.  In  a  former  chapter  we 
have  seen  how  Clement  XIII.  nobly  defended  the 
Society  against  their  numerous  and  implacable  en- 
emies, censuring  in  the  strongest  and  most  une- 
quivocal terms  the  act  of  the  secular  power  in  at- 
tempting, as  he  said,  "  to  usurp  the  doctrinal 
teaching  which  was  entrusted  only  to  the  pastors 


of  Israel — to  the  watchful  shepherds  of  the  flock." 
"Imputations  and  calumnies."  continues  the 
Pontiff,  "are  heaped  upon  the  institute  of  the  reg- 
ular clergy  of  the  Society  of  Jesus,  a  pious  insti- 
tute, useful  to  the  Church,  long  approved  by  the 
Apostolic  See,  honored  by  the  Roman  Pontiffs  and 
the  Council  of  Trent,  ivith  imperishable  praise"  etc. 
Later,  on  the  same  sovereign  authority,  in  his  Bull 
Apostolicum,  issued,  as  he  said,  at  the  instance  of 
the  entire  Catholic  hierarchy,  took  occasion  to  pay 
a  still  higher  tribute  of  praise  to  the  Society  by 
formally  approving  and  confirming  the  institute. 
When,  however,  in  spite  of  all  his  endeavors  the 
enemies  of  religion  had  succeeded  in  suppressing 
the  body  and  banishing  the  members  from  some  of 
the  principal  countries  of  Europe,  the  blow  was 
too  great  for  the  venerable  man ;  he  sank  under 
its  weight,  and  died  broken-hearted,  on  the  2d  of 
February,  1769. 

The  efforts  of  the  anti-Catholic  and  infidel  party 
were  now  renewed  on  a  still  larger  scale.  The 
moment  seemed  favorable  for  the  kings  and  phil- 
osophers to  accomplish  their  purpose.  Now,  or 
never,  they  were  determined  to  have  a  Pontiff 
who,  according  to  the  language  of  the  Marquis  of 
d'  Anheterre,  "would  suit  the  emergency."  Every 
effort  was  accordingly  made  to  secure  the  election 
of  a  man  according  to  their  own  heart.  The 
Bourbons  were  the  most  active  and  unscrupulous 
in  their  endeavors.     The  most  shameful  and  repre- 

432  HISTORY    OF    THE 

hensible  maneuvers  were  resorted  to  by  the  am- 
bassadors to  secure  a  favorable  election.  It  was  at 
first  proposed  to  exclude  every  member  of  the  con- 
clave known  or  suspected  of  being  favorable  to 
the  Society.  Against  this  the  Cardinal  de  Bernis 
loudly  protested,  in  a  letter  to  the  representative 
of  France:  "It  is  for  the  honor  of  the  crown  that 
I  speak.  Never  before  have  they  tried  to  elect  a 
Pope  by  excluding  more  than  a  half  of  the  Sacred 
College  !  This  is  unprecedented.  It  is  necessary 
to  be  reasonable,  and  not  place  the  sacred  college 
in  the  predicament  of  having  to  separate  and  to 
protest  against  such  a  proceeding.  It  is  impossi- 
ble to  form  a  plan  of  action  upon  a  system  so  gen- 
erally exclusive,  that  it  will  include  only  four  or 
five  members,  some  of  whom  are  too  young.  In  a 
word3  what  can  one  do  who  has  the  choice  of 
grasping  at  the  moon  or  of  rotting  in  a  dungeon."  1 
Baffled  in  this,  the  Catholic  powers  resorted  to 
other  equally  unlawful  and  reprehensible  means  of 
accomplishing  their  purpose.  By  the  first  they 
endeavored  to  force  the  sacred  assembly  into  pass- 
ing a  resolution  making  the  suppression  of  the  So- 
ciety a  condition  of  the  validity  of  election;  and, 
secondly,  they  resolved  upon  withholding  their  ac- 
knowledgment of  the  Pontiff  elect  until  he  had 
promised  to  act  in  accordance  with  their  views. 
Both  these  propositions,  it  is  hardly  necessary  to 

(1)     History  of  the  Society  of  Jesus :  by  Daurignac;  English  Transla- 
tion by  James  Clements,  vol.  11,  p.  169. 


say,  were  indignantly  rejected  by  the  venerable 
assembly.  The  members  of  the  conclave  had  as- 
sembled in  council  to  obey  the  dictates  of  con- 
science, and  not  the  behests  of  unscrupulous 
monarchs.  The  best  and  most  satisfactory  evi- 
dence that  they  did  not  regard  the  suggestions  of 
the  powers  in  the  election  of  the  Pontiff,  is  the 
notable  fact  that,  while  at  that  moment  religious 
orders  and.  societies  were  much  in  disfavor  at  the 
principal  courts,  the  all  but  unanimous  selection  of 
the  conclave  fell  not  only  upon  the  only  Religious 
in  the  assembly,  but  upon  one  who  had  been  rais- 
ed to  the  dignity  of  Cardinal  at  the  suggestion  of 
the  Jesuit  Body.1 

The  Pope-elect,  who  took  the  name  of  Clement 
XIV.,  was  crowned  on  the  fourth  of  June,  by 
Cardinal  Alexander  Albiani.  Then  begun,  in  all 
earnestness,  that  terrible  contest  between  the 
Pontiff  and  the  Catholic  princes,  which  ended 
only  in  the  suppression  of  the  great  Society.  The 
situation  of  Europe  at  that  time  was  most  danger- 
ous and  alarming.  Never  before,  perhaps,  did 
such  ruin  threaten  the  Church  in  Europe.  The 
anti-Catholic  party  was  dominant  in  every  coun- 
try; an  alarming  spirit  of  hostility  to  the  Holy 
See  had  openly  manifested  itself  at  all  the  Cath- 
olic courts.     Schism  was  openly  talked  of  and  pre- 

(1)  Lives  and  Times  of  the  Roman  Pontiffs :  by  Chevalier  Artand  de 
Montor;  English  Translation.  Vol.  11,  p.  333.  History  of  the  Society 
of  Jesus :  Daurignac,  vol.  11,  p.  170. 


434  HISTORY    OF    THE 

meditated  by  the  powers.     To  avert  this   terrible 
danger,  to  retain  the  Catholic  sovereigns  in  their 
faithful  allegiance,  and  yet  to  do   no  violence  to 
conscience,  was  the  great  question  to  be  solved, 
and  which  certainly  demanded  the  exercise  of  the 
greatest  wisdom  and  most  consummate  prudence. 
From  the  moment  of  the  Pope's  election,  there 
seems  to  have  been  a  latent  suspicion   that  the 
Society  was  doomed.     On  the  sixteenth  of  June, 
D'Alembert  wrote  to  Frederick  the  Great,  in  the 
following  terms:    "It  is  said  that  the  Jesuits  have 
but  little   to   hope  from  the   Franciscan    Ganga- 
nelli,  and  that  St.  Ignatius  is  likely  to  be  sacrificed 
to  St.  Francis  of  Assisium.    It  appears  to  me  that 
the  holy  Father,  Franciscan  though  he  be,  would  be 
acting  very  foolishly  thus  to  disband  his  regiment 
of  guards,  simply  out  of  complaisance  to  Catholic 
princes.     To  me  it  appears  that  this  treaty  resem- 
bles that  of  the  wolves  with  the  sheep,  of  which 
the  first  condition  was  that  the  sheep  should  give  up 
their  dogs;  it  is  well  known  in  what  position  they 
after  found  themselves.    Be  that  as  it  may,  it  would 
be  strange  Sire,  that  while  their  most  Christian, 
most  Catholic,  most  apostolic,   and  very  faithful 
majesties  destroyed  the  body  guard  of  the  Holy 
See,  your  most  heretical  majesty  should  be  the 
only  one  to  retain  them."     The  object  of  this  let- 
ter could  hardly  be  mistaken.     The  latent  sarcasm 
touching  the  incongruity  of  his  heretical  majesty 
being  the  only  defender  of  the  Society,  was  to  pre- 


pare  the  Prussian  king  for  expelling  them  from  his 
dominions,  in  case  of  their  condemnation  by  Rome. 
Frederick,  however,  though  a  Protestant  and  a  free- 
thinker, refused  to  be  influenced  in  that  fashion. 
Writing  to  Voltaire  at  the  time,  he  declared  his  in- 
tention of  retaining  the  Religious :  "That  good  Fran- 
ciscan of  the  Vatican  leaves  me  my  dear  Jesuits, 
who  are  persecuted  everywhere  else.  I  will  preserve 
the  precious  seed,  so  as  to  be  able  one  day  to  sup- 
ply it  to  such  as  may  desire  again  to  cultivate  this 
rare  plant."  What  he  thought  of  their  enemies, 
he  expreses  in  equally  terse  and  expressive  lan- 
guage. *'  If  I  sought,"  said  he,  "to  chastise  one 
of  my  provinces,  I  would  place  it  under  the  control 
of  the  philosophers  /"  But  Frederick's  refusal  to 
join  in  the  league  in  no  way  impeded  the  Catholic 
princes  from  pursuing  their  project. 

Eighteen  days  after  the  coronation  of  the  new 
Pontiff,  the  ministers  of  France,  Spain  and  Naples 
presented  a  memorial  to  his  Holiness,  soliciting 
the  entire  and  absolute  suppression  of  the  society. 
Impelled  by  a  blind,  unaccountable  hatred,  the 
enemies  of  religion  seem  to  have  regarded  the 
mere  existence  of  the  Fathers,  as  a  religious 
body,  the  only  veritable  obstacle  that  stood  in 
the  way  of  their  happiness.  Clement  refused  to 
comply  with  the  prayer  of  the  petitioners.  Writing 
to  the  king  of  France,  he  alleges  as  a  reason  his  in- 
ability to  condemn  a  society  confirmed  by  a  general 
council,  and  approved  by  several  of  his  predecessors. 

436  HISTORY   OF   THE 

"I  can  neither1'  he  says,  "  censure  nor  abolish  an 
institute  which  has  been  commended  by  nineteen 
of  my  predecessors.  Still  less  can  I  do  so,  since 
it  has  been  confirmed  by  the  Council  of  Trent, 
for,  according  to  your  French  maxims,  the  general 
council  is  above  the  Pope.  If  it  be  so  desired,  I 
will  call  together  a  general  council,  in  which  every- 
thing shall  be  fully  and  fairly  discussed,  for  and 

The  contest  was  not  ended  here;  happy  for  the 
sake  of  honor  and  justice  it  had  been.  For  two  years 
the  different  powers  prosecuted  their  unholy  and 
iniquitous  purpose  with  a  zeal  and  an  energy 
worthy  of  a  better  cause.  They  would  give  the 
Pontiff  no  peace  or  rest  till  they  wrested  from  him 
the  coveted  decree.  One  great  Catholic  power 
alone  was  on  the  side  of  the  Religious.  Maria  of 
Austria  would  not  join  in  the  unholy  league;  she 
even  exhorted  and  encouraged  the  sovereign 
Pontiff  to  save  the  Society,  but  even  she  at  length 
gave  in  her  adhesion.  The  mother's  love  tri- 
umphed over  the  love  of  religion.  Entirely 
abandoned  and  unsupported,  with  nearly  all  the 
monarchs  of  Europe  against  him,  the  Pope  still 
held  out.  In  fine,  fearing  the  consequences 
that  a  further  refusal  might  lead  to,  believing  that 
the  Society,  under  the  circumstances,  could  be  of 
no  good  to  religion,  and  desiring  above  all  to  re- 
store peace  and  tranquillity  to  the  Church  of  which 
he  was  chief  pastor,  Clement  XIV.  drew  up  and 


put  in  force  the  ever  memorable  Brief,   "Dominus 
ac  Redemptor." 

After  recapitulating  the  reasons  which  induced 
him  to  act,  and  having  cited  the  instances  of  many 
of  his  predecessors,  having  abolished  several  relig- 
ious societies  and  orders  commended  and  approved 
by   the    Church,    such   as   the  Knight  Templars, 
suppressed  by  Clement  V. ;  the  Humiliati  by  Pius 
V. ;  the  Reformed  Conventual  Friars  and  the  Or- 
ders of  St.  Ambrose  and  Barnabas  by  Urban  VIII. ; 
the  Regulars  of  the  Poor  of  the  Mother  of  God  of 
the  Pious   School,  the   Order  of  St.  Basil  of  the 
Armenians,   the  Congregation  of  the  Good  Jesus 
by  Innocent  X.,  the  Orders  of  St.  George  of  Alga, 
of  the  Hieronymites  and  the  Jesuats,  founded  by 
St.   John    Columbini,    by  Clement  IX.;    he    then 
proceeds  in  the   Brief.   "Led  by  such  considera- 
tions, and  urged  by  still  other  reasons  supplied  to 
us  by  the  laws  of  prudence  and  the  excellent  rule 
of  the  Universal  Church,  which    are   deeply   en- 
graven  in  our  heart:  walking  in  the  footsteps  of 
our  predecessors,    and  remembering  the  words  of 
Gregory  X.,  in  the  General  Council  of  Lataran,  as 
it  at  present   concerns  an  order  included  in  the 
number  of  the  mendicant  orders,  its  institutions, 
and  its  privileges,  we,  after  mature  examination,  of 
our  own  certain  knowledge,  and  in   the  plenitude 
of  the  apostolic  power,  suppress  and  extinguish   the 
said  Society.vl     Thus  fell,  on  the  21st  July,  1773, 

(1)     Lives  and  Times  of  the  Boman  Pontiffs,  vol.  II.,  p358. 

438  HISTORY    OF    THE 

the  great  Society  of  Jesus,  which  for  two  hundred 
and  thirty-three  years  occupied  such  a  prominent 
position  in  the  history  of  the  Catholic  world ;  its 
name  being  intimately  connected  in  almost  every 
country  with  learning,  science  and  missionary  en- 
terprise. At  the  moment  of  its  suppression  the 
institute  numbered  twenty-two  thousand  five  hun- 
dred and  eighty-nine  members,  of  whom  eleven 
thousand  two  hundred  and  ninety-three  were 
priests.  The  labors  of  the  whole  were  divided  be- 
tween twenty-four  professed  houses,  six  hundred 
and  sixty-nine  colleges,  sixty-one  novitiates,  three 
hundred  and  forty  residences,  one  hundred  and 
seventy-one  seminaries,  and  two  hundred  and 
seventy-three  missions. 

The  manner  in  which  this  great,  devoted  body 
of 'men  submitted  to  the  authority  of  the  Church, 
destroying  their  religious  existence,  is  the  noblest 
and  most  marvelous  act  of  submission  recorded  in 
the  annals  of  the  Church.  By  it  they  demonstra- 
ted more  clearly  than  any  reasoning  could  have 
done,  the  purity,  holiness  and  fervor  of  the  insti- 
tute. Without  a  murmur,  a  reproof  or  complaint, 
twenty-two  thousand  men,  at  the  mere  bidding  of 
the  Vicar  of  Christ,  put  off  their  religious  attire, 
walked  out  of  their  holy  retreats,  handed  over 
their  colleges  and  seminaries,  divested  themselves 
of  their  churches  and  oratories,  and,  by  an  act  of 
unparalleled,  heroic  submission,  exclaimed,  with 
one  common  accord,    as  they  witnessed  the  last 


moments  of  the  Society:  ''Fiat  voluntas  Dei!" 
Never  has  the  world  been  edified  by  so  perfect 
and  heroic  an  act  of  obedience — an  act  which, 
while  it  covered  the  Society  with  glory,  assimilated 
it  most  closely  to  Him  whose  name  was  its  title,  and 
who,  through  innocence  itself  in  obedience  to  the 
will  of  his  heavenly  father,  was  obedient — even 
unto  the  death  of  the  cross. 

Was  the  suppression  of  the  Society  an  act  dic- 
tated by  prudence?  was  it  wise?  was  it  for  the 
general  good  and  benefit  of  the  world  at  large  ? 
These  are  questions  which  subsequent  ages  have 
repeatedly  asked,  and  regarding  which  there  has 
been  such  a  diversity  of  opinion  even  among 
Catholics.  Humanly  speaking,  one  is  tempted  to 
regard  the  act  of  suppression  as  one  of  the  great- 
est misfortunes  that  could  have  befallen  the  Church 
at  the  time.  It  was,  as  the  infidel  d'Alembert 
would  have  it,  disbanding  his  Holiness'  regiment 
of  guards;  yea,  it  was  more.  It  was  disbanding 
the  bravest  and  noblest  battalion  in  the  service  of 
the  Church.  For  two  hundred  years  the  members 
of  the  institute  did  battle,  unhesitatingly  and  un- 
waveringly, with  the-  enemies  of  religion,  success- 
fully combating,  both  at  home  and  abroad,  the 
errors  and  vices  of  the  times.  They  were — indeed, 
it  could  not  be  denied — among  the  chief  defenders 
of  the  doctrines  of  the  Church,  and  of  the  rights 
and  prerogatives  of  the  sovereign  Pontiff.  When 
Lutheranism  first  made  its  appearance  in  Germany, 

440  HISTORY    OF    THE 

and,  under  the  specious  pretext  of  virtue  and  a 
love  of  divine  truth,  began  to  disturb  the  peace, 
harmony  and  tranquillity  of  the  Christian  world, 
among  the  first  and  most  learned  opponents  of  the 
novelties  of  the  time  (though  the  Society  was  but 
yet  in  its  infancy)  were  Jesuit  Fathers,  whose  suc- 
cess in  defence  of  Catholic  truth  may  be  judged 
from  the  violence  and  hatred  of  their  opponents, 
whose  fast-fuiling  cause  urged  them  to  clamor  for 
the  death  and  destruction  of  the  Religious. 

Later  on,  when  the  same  torrent  of  error  seemed 
ready  to  burst  over  Italy,  having  already  pene- 
trated into  several  of  its  towns,  it  was  the  same 
chivalrous  body,  in  the  persons  of  Fathers  Brouet? 
Salmeron  and  Laynez,  who,  at  the  call  of  Paul  III., 
came  forward  in  defence  of  Catholic  truth,  and 
not  only  opposed  an  insurmountable  barrier  to  its 
further  advance,  but,  by  the  force  and  brilliancy 
of  their  genius,  rolled  back  the  tide  of  deception 
into  the  country  of  its  origin. 

When,  again,  the  representatives  of  the  entire 
Catholic  world  were  assembled  in  council  at  Trent, 
to  treat  and  determine  the  most  important  matters 
of  faith,  morals  and  discipline,  those  who  spoke 
in  the  name  of  the  sovereign  Pontiff,  as  theolo- 
gians elect  to  his  Holiness,  were  members  of  the 
illustrious  order  of  St.  Ignatius — an  honor  the 
more  remarkable  and  appreciable,  considering  the 
age  of  the  men  and  the  youth  of  the  Society.1 

(1)     Father  Laynez  was  but  thirty-four  years  of  age,  and  Father  Sal- 
meron only  thirty-one.     Vide  Hist.  Society:  vol.  L,  p.  55. 


It  is  not  to  be  forgotten  either,  that,  even 
from  the  beginning,  members  of  the  same  re- 
markable society  carried  the  light  of  the  gospel 
to  the  most  distant  parts  of  the  earth — to  the 
east  and  the  west  —  illumining  and  enlightening 
those  who  "  sat  in  darkness  and  the  shadow 
of  death,"  leading  them  forth  from  the  ignorance 
and  error  of  their  ways,  and  enrolling  them  as 
members  of  the  one  holy  Catholic  and  Apostolic 
Church,  not  merely  by  thousands,  but  by  tens  of 
thousands,  and  millions.1  It  was  members  of  the 
same  society,  too,  that  made  the  Catholic  name 
and  the  Catholic  cause  honored  and  respected  at 
the  courts  of  the  Great  Mogul  and  of  Kubla  Khan, 
at  Delhi  and  Pekin,  while  others,  with  an  equally 
laudable  zeal  for  the  interest  and  advantages  of 
religion,  took  as  their  portion,  and  cherished  as 
their  special  inheritance,  the  savage  and  barbar- 
ous tribes  of  North,  South  and  Central  America. 

But  when,  independent  of  this,  we  consider  the 
the  subject  in  its  larger  and  more  general  aspect, 
and  consider  the  advantages  necessarily  accruing 
to  the  Church  from  the  labors,  the  zeal  and  exer- 
tions of  twenty-two  thousand  holy,  zealous,  devoted 
men,  many  of  whom  were  remarkable  as  missiona- 
ries, theologians,  philosophers  and  orators,  in 
whose  hands  were  placed  the  government  and  con- 
trol of  much  of  the  secular  and  sacred  learning  of 
the  time,  and  who,  at  that  very  moment,  seemed 

(1)   St.  Francis  Xavier  converted  about  two  millions. 

442  HISTORY    OF    THE 

most  necessary  to  combat  and  successfully  oppose 
the  infidelity  and  atheism  of  the  hour,  we  cannot 
help  imagining  that  the  abolition  and  destruction 
of  such  a  grand,  powerful  devoted  society,  was  an 
injury  to  the  Catholic  church.  When,  on  the 
other  hand,  we  hear  the  sovereign  Pontiff  declar- 
ing, in  his  capacity  as  Yicar  of  Christ  and  teacher 
of  Catholic  truth,  that  the  sacrifice  was  a  necessity 
demanded  by  the  exigencies  of  the  time;  "that 
the  Society  could  no  longer  produce  the  abundant 
fruits  and  advantages  for  which,  it  was  instituted;" 
that  if  it  existed  peace  could  not  come  to  the 
Church;  then,  indeed,  the  merits  of  the  case  as- 
sume an  entirely  different  aspect  in  our  eyes.  To 
the  memory  of  him  whose  name  is  so  intimately 
connected  with,  the  abolition  of  the  institute,  it  is 
only  just  to  observe,  that  the  act  of  suppression 
was  not  a  rash  and  arbitrary  exercise  of  sovereign 
power;  not  an  act  unique  in  its  way,  without  any 
examples  or  precedents  in  the  history  of  the  past; 
not  an  act,  in  fine,  performed  by  caprice,  without 
grave  consideration  and  mature  deliberation.  For 
four  years  from  the  time  of  his  election,  Clement 
XIV.  withstood  the  constant  and  united  solicita- 
tions and  entreaties  of  some  of  the  most  powerful 
monarchs  of  Europe,  repeatedly  declaring  his  in- 
ability to  censure  or  abolish  a  society  commended 
and  approved  by  so  many  of  his  predecessors,  and 
confirmed  by  the  voice  of  the  entire  Catholic 
world  assembled  in  general  council.     And  it  was 


only  at  the  end  of  that  period,  when  finding  him- 
self in  direct  opposition  and  antagonism  with  all 
the  Catholic  powers,  and  fearing  the  consequences 
a  further  refusal  might  entail  on  the  Church,  he 
drew  up  and  enforced  the  memorable  brief.  It  is, 
then,  a  clear  and  undeniable  historical  fact,  that 
the  suppression  of  the  Society  of  St.  Ignatius  of 
Loyola,  commonly  called  the  Society  of  Jesus,  was 
not  the  result  or  consequence  of  any  error  of  doc- 
trine, of  any  corruption  of  morals,  of  any  laxity  of 
discipline,  of  any  secret,  social  or  political  aim, 
but  as  an  offering — a  sacrifice — made  to  the  cruel 
and  relentless  demands  of  the  hour;  just  as  the 
merchant  at  sea  reluctantly  casts  into  the  deep 
in  a  moment  of  peril  a  portion  of  his  valuable 
cargo,  in  order  to  secure  the  safety  of  the  remain- 
der. Such,  indeed,  is  the  acknowledgment  of 
Protestant  writers  themselves.  "  The  Brief  of 
Suppression"  says  Schall,  "  condemns  neither  the 
doctrine,  nor  the  morals,  nor  the  discipline  of  the 
Jesuits."  And  in  equally  clear  and  unmistakable 
words,  Sismondi  also  says:  "  Clement  XIV.  pub- 
lished the  brief  by  which  he  abolished  that  order 
not  in  'punishment  of^any  fault,  but  as  a  political 
measure,  and  for  the  peace  of  Christendom." 

While  then,  for  the  reasons  alleged,  the  Society 
of  the  Jesuits  must  be  acquited  of  every  deed  and 
every  act  that  could  have  merited  for  it  so  heavy 
and  grievous  a  chastisement,  and  while  its  sup- 
pression is  to  be  attributed  to  its  legitimate  source 

444  HISTORY    OF    THE 

— the  hatred  and  implacable  animosity  of  the  evil- 
minded  men  of  the  time — we  must  not  forget  what 
in  justice  is  due  to  the  memory  of  him  on  whom 
the  burden  of  the  odium  is  made  mainly  to  rest. 
If,  in  consequence  of  a  refusal  to  suppress  the  So- 
ciety, only  one  of  the  countries  of  Europe  with  its 
millions  of  inhabitants  were  torn  from  the  centre  of 
Catholic  unity,  a  thing  not  entirely  improbable, 
considering  the  feeling  and  temper  of  the  Catholic 
rulers  at  the  time,  who  would  not  be  ready  to  de- 
plore the  inaction  of  the  sovereign  Pontiff — who 
would  not  be  ready  to  say  that  a  greater  loss  was 
entailed  on  the  Church.  The  act  of  suppression, 
it  must  be  remembered,  was  not  a  violation  of  in- 
dividual or  corporate  right;  it  did  not  entrench  on 
the  dominion  of  justice.  It  was  merely  an  act  of 
administrative,  jurisdictional  power.  The  Society 
was  called  into  existence  under  the  sanction  and 
authority  of  the  Church,  and  the  Church  had  the 
power  and  the  right,  whenever  it  seemed  fit,  to  ab- 
olish the  same.  The  object  of  its  creation  at  all 
was  to  bring  peace  and  harmony  to  the  Christian 
world — to  advance  Catholic  interests;  that  object 
at  the  time,  from  the  unhappy  circumstances  of 
the  moment,  seemed  entirely  defeated;  yea,  the 
Society  seemed  to  stand  in  the  way  of  so  desirable 
an  end.  The  limits  of  its  action,  too,  were  great- 
ly restricted,  being  banished  from  and  suppressed 
in  the  principal  Catholic  countries.  But,  apart 
entirely  from  such  considerations,  it  seems  to  us 


that  the  suppression  of  the  institute  was  made  to 
serve,  in  the  inscrutable  designs  of  Divine  Provi- 
dence, a  still  higher  and  nobler  purpose,  that  of 
offering  to  the  world  an  incontrovertible  proof  of 
the  divinity  of  the  Catholic  Church.  The  phil- 
osophers and  freethinkers  of  the  time  had  counted 
upon  the  destruction  of  the  religion  as  a  conse- 
quence of  the  destruction  of  the  Jesuit  body. 
They  thought  that  when  the  out-works  were  taken 
the  citadel  would  necessarily  fall ;  that  when  the 
Church's  ablest  defenders  were  removed  the 
Church  itself  would  be  presently  their  victim. 
They  were  deceived;  the  first  object  of  their  am- 
bition was  attained;  the  Society  was  suppressed, 
but  the  Church  remained.  In  vain  did  they  at- 
tempt to  advance  any  further  and  to  destroy  this 
creation  of  God.  Their  shafts  of  ridicule,  calumny 
and  false  reasoning  fell  powerless  against  the  im- 
penetrable buckler  of  Catholic  truth.  More  in- 
vulnerable than  the  Trojan  Achilles,  the  Catholic 
Church  stood  forth  unscathed  in  the  midst  of  her 
numerous  foes,  and  opening  their  eyes  to  this  nota- 
ble fact,  the  philosophers  and  infidels  of  the  time 
must  have  acknowledged  to  themselves,  if  aught 
of  sincerity  remained  in  their  hearts,  that  a  Church 
which  could  afford  to  dispense,  at  a  critical  mo- 
ment, with  twenty-two  thousand  of  its  ablest  de- 
fenders, and  yet  suffer  no  loss,  must,  indeed,  be 
more  than  the  creation  of  man — must  be  divine. 
At  the  end  of  the  volume  will  be  found  an  ac- 

446-  HISTORY    OF    THE 

count  of  the  sufferings  of  the  Fathers  during  the 
loug  years  of  their  imprisonment  from  1762  to 
1777  by  the  authority  of  the  Portuguese  crown. 
They  have  no  parallel  but  in  the  sufferings  of  the 
primitive  Christians  under  the  Pagan  Emperors  of 

1  7 

fy   &a)    &   Jl.     w 



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